There is no shortage of safety hazards in warehouses in Maryland and elsewhere. A significant number of the material handling injuries cited in workers’ compensation claims involve falling objects, fire, manual handling and slips, trips and falls. However, forklifts pose a variety of dangers, making them the primary cause of serious workplace injuries in this industry.
The size and weight of forklifts make them particularly dangerous. For that reason, compliance with the safety standards prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is crucial. Most importantly, only certified individuals should operate forklifts, and even then, refresher safety training is essential to prevent complacency. Strict supervision is necessary to ensure that forklifts are not used to transport or lift co-workers onto elevated work areas.
The fact that forklifts are typically operated in areas where workers on foot are also present. Forklift operators must always ensure that workers on foot are aware of the presence and dangers posed by the vehicle. The risks include workers being crushed between the forklift and stationary objects, overloaded or unstable loads tipping over onto pedestrian workers, and the forklift falling over, crushing the operator.
Maryland workers can rest assured that the workers’ compensation system of the state will cover the medical expenses and lost wages if they are injured. The insurance pays benefits regardless of who was at fault. The benefits claims process could be complicated. For that reason, many injured workers in Maryland choose to utilize the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to navigate the ensuing procedures in pursuit of maximum applicable benefits.