Preventing falls from elevated heights in warehouses

Many people are employed in Pennsylvania warehouses that have materials stacked on elevated shelves. A case reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration illustrates the dangers of failing to implement and follow safety protocols for working at elevations.

According to OSHA, a worker in a warehouse was stacking items on an elevated shelf about 7 feet above the concrete floor. He was standing on a pallet that was elevated by a forklift, which is not an appropriate use of either a forklift or a pallet. The worker slipped on the pallet and fell to the floor. He succumbed to his injuries within a few days.

OSHA states that workers should not ride on pallets that are being carried by forklifts. Instead of using makeshift means to help workers reach elevated shelves, employers should install scaffolding so that the employees can safely access their work areas. The employees should also be provided with the proper safety gear such as personal fall-protection systems. If the employers will use systems to lift workers, they should only choose ones that have been approved for that purpose by OSHA.

Falls from heights are among the leading causes of workplace injuries. It is important that both workers and employers take steps to protect workers so that their risks of falling are minimized. Workers who are injured in falls might want to get the guidance of experienced workers’ compensation attorneys who can help their clients to recover workers’ compensation benefits. All employers are mandated to have workers’ compensation coverage, which is designed to compensate workers who are injured while they are on the job. Workers’ compensation benefits may pay for the injured workers’ medical bills and related prosthetic devices. Benefits may also pay for the costs of rehabilitation.