How Employers in Georgia Can Prevent Workplace Injuries

Working in a storage facility or warehouse comes with many potential hazards, and if you are wondering how Georgia employers can prevent warehouse injuries, read on.

1) Stacking items Properly

Items falling off shelves can be a common cause of warehouse injuries, and simply stacking shelves correctly and safely can prevent many of these incidents. In general, lighter items should be placed on higher shelves, with heavier objects on the lower shelves. A lighter object that falls from a higher shelf is not as likely to cause an injury as a heavier object falling off the highest shelf.

And to minimize the chance of pallets collapsing when a forklift is loading or unloading them, there should be an adequate amount of space between pallets that are stacked on shelves.

2) Preventing Falls and Slips

A clean, organized and uncluttered work area can minimize the chances of falls, trips or slips. Installing proper lighting and making sure floors are not slippery can also help. If someone is working on a floor that is slippery, wet or polished, then wearing proper footwear can help to keep them safe.

3) Adequate Training

Protection railings and barriers should be installed in all loading docks, and thorough training ensures awareness of these, as well as knowing how to install them. Forklifts can be dangerous in a warehouse environment, and of course anyone operating one should have undergone complete training. And lifting heavy objects improperly is the cause of many workplace injuries; simply making sure employees know how to safely and effectively lift can prevent overexertion and many unnecessary injuries.

4) Hazardous Materials

Thorough training on the use of hazardous materials is a must in any warehouse or storage environment, and that includes knowing how to clean up any spills safely. All employers are required to adhere to the legal guidelines set in place that regulate the handling of hazardous materials and the training that is required.

Thorough training and effective safety procedures on the part of Georgia employers can help to keep to a minimum the costs of workers’ compensation. Annually, these costs come to several billion dollars.

If you have been injured at work, there are several steps that you should take:

1) Get Medical Help Immediately

An on-site nurse should be able to look at any minor workplace injury, although you will need to contact emergency medical services for anything serious. In case you end up filing a workers’ compensation claim at some point, tell any medical professional that the injury occurred at work.

2) Your Employer or Supervisor Should Be Notified of the Injury

The best course of action is to let your supervisor know about any workplace injury as soon as possible, although the laws covering the timeframe in which to do this vary between states. When you report the injury can potentially affect when you might be eligible to receive any compensation benefits. And if you wait a few weeks before bothering to report the injury but then file for compensation, it can be argued that you obviously were not injured seriously as you did not immediately report it.

3) File For Workers’ Compensation

In Georgia, the general rule is that any workers’ compensation claim must be filed within a year of the date of the accident. If you were exposed to a toxic or hazardous material, this timeframe may be different. You will get compensation benefits if your claim is accepted by your employer and their insurance company, although filing a compensation claim is your next step if they do not accept your injury claim. You won’t be eligible for any compensation if you wait until the deadline has passed to file.

4) Talk to an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If your claim was denied, your next step is to contact an attorney who specializes in this type of case. An injury in the workplace can potentially mean thousands of dollars being paid out, even more, and not surprisingly, the insurance company isn’t anxious to pay out that money. They will do their best to pay out as small an amount as possible, or preferably not have to pay you at all. Dealing with the insurance company yourself can be frustrating and confusing, and you are not likely to get anywhere. Understanding and navigating the often-confusing system is a lot easier when you have the advice and support of a good workers’ compensation attorney.

Being hurt on the job is not fun and an employer and insurance company reluctant to pay you what you deserve can simply make the situation worse. Many injured workers rely on those benefits to cover the high costs of medical care and to provide a financial cushion while they are unable to work. A Georgia workers compensation attorney with experience in this area can help you to get the financial compensation you deserve for your workplace injury.