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Workplace accidents: Peak season risks in distribution centers

The time leading up to the festive holiday season is the time when distribution centers in New York move into their peak seasons. Getting merchandise to all the stores in time for the big rush of shoppers typically brings about frantic activities in warehouses where safety regulations may not receive the attention they deserve. Compliance with safety regulations -- regardless of the level of pressure to perform -- can prevent workplace accidents.

Training will always be a vital ingredient in workplace safety. When training employees to do particular jobs, safety training must be included. Communication is also important because every potentially dangerous area that is reported and addressed can prevent injuries. High-risk areas typically include unprotected machines, spills on floors and obstructions such as pallets placed in aisles.

With the high level of activity at loading docks and the integral hazards in that area, communication between tractor-trailer drivers and lift truck operators is imperative. This can avoid incidents in which trucks pull off before forklift operators can move safe distances away. Another common hazard is caused by horse play by workers in warehouses and at loading docks. This can also include speeding and general negligence in the handling of lift trucks. It is the responsibility of company owners and their supervisors to address such behavior before accidents occur.

In the events of workplace accidents happening, business owners must address the safety hazards that led to the accidents immediately to prevent repeat incidents. Victims of such accidents will be entitled to pursue compensation for medical expenses and lost income that were brought about by the injuries. They can file benefits claims with the New York workers' compensation insurance program, and victims may choose to utilize the guidance of an experienced workers' comp attorney to help them navigate the administrative and legal proceedings of filing such a claim.

Source:, "Logistics News : Maintaining Workplace Safety During Peak Shipping Season", Cliff Holste, Oct. 19, 2016

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