Pressure on Warehouse Workers Rises as Black Friday Approaches

Posted on: 1 min read
Melanie Burden

Partner, Head of Employer's Liability - Serious Injury

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At this time of year, many of us will be thinking about starting our Black Friday and Christmas shopping. In 2021, the UK alone accounted for over 10 percent of global Black Friday searches online and this trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

But this extra demand on warehouse workers can have dangerous consequences. Last year, the e-commerce giant Amazon faced scrutiny as it was revealed that ambulance callouts to their sites rose by almost 50 percent in November.  

This issue isn’t isolated to one company, though. As more and more of us are avoiding the crowds and doing our Christmas shopping online, many businesses are prioritising speed over employee safety.

In this article, we’ve outlined some of the most common warehouse accidents we see as Personal Injury Solicitors, what your employer should be doing to protect you and what you can do if you’ve been involved in an accident at work.

For free initial advice that’s tailored to your situation, get in touch with our expert Accident at Work Solicitors.

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FAQs about warehouse injuries

Where there is a lack of safety procedures in place, the types of injuries warehouse workers can sustain are wide ranging. In our experience, some of the most common injuries are caused by:

  • Slips, trips and falls – in warehouses, the floors can often be uneven or cluttered with stock or debris. If this isn’t managed properly, or if appropriate signage has not been put out, you could be entitled to compensation if you suffer a fall as a result.
  • Falling objects – we sometimes see people who were injured as a result of stock not being properly stored on shelving. This can easily fall down and cause someone a serious head injury.
  • Heavy lifting – if you haven’t been given the proper training or safety equipment, you could fall victim to a heavy lifting injury such as a muscle strain, torn ligament or spinal cord injury.
  • Falls from ladders – in many warehouses, ladders will be used to reach goods that are stocked on higher shelving. If the ladder has not recently been checked and is unstable, or it has not been properly footed, you could be at risk of a ladder-related injury.
  • Being struck by a forklift truck – one of the more severe accidents we see in warehouses are those involving forklift trucks. This is unfortunately quite common where the truck driver’s view has been obscured.

Some warehouse injuries won’t be caused by a singular accident but by the repetitive lifting of heavy goods. Unfortunately, we know that in many warehouse settings, unrealistic targets are set that mean workers have no choice but to repeatedly carry and transport heavy items quickly. In some cases, this can lead to the development of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) which affects the muscles, nerves and tendons. 

This is why it’s so important that employers have safety measures in place to protect employees’ wellbeing.

Wherever you work, your employer has a legal duty of care towards you. But this is especially relevant if you’re working in a warehouse environment where there are many potential hazards.

Your employer should actively look to keep you safe by providing adequate and regular training and protective equipment wherever its needed. They should also:

  • implement any relevant health and safety regulations;
  • conduct frequent risk assessments;
  • regularly check machinery to make sure it’s safe and useable;
  • create and maintain safe walkways for employees;
  • take necessary action if an employee is being negligent and putting their colleagues in danger.

If you think your employer has breached their duty of care, and you’ve suffered an injury as a result, you could be entitled to compensation.

If you’ve been involved in a warehouse accident, you might understandably find the prospect of taking legal action daunting. But if you were injured through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to support and compensation.

We understand that you’ll likely have questions about the claims process, and you might be unsure about whether you have a valid case for compensation. When you first speak to us, we’ll offer you a free claims assessment where we’ll listen to the details of your accident and let you know if we think you have a strong claim.

For further information, get in touch with our experienced and approachable team.

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