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Distribution center injuries? Workers' compensation will help

New Jersey workers who earn their incomes from working in distribution centers face many safety hazards. Although they may find comfort in knowing that they will be entitled to workers' compensation benefits if they should suffer on-the-job injuries, that is something most workers would rather not wish to happen. Safety authorities say good housekeeping can help prevent workplace accidents.

When risk assessments are done in distribution centers, three primary areas will be evaluated. The first is the cleanliness and organization to ensure all areas are free of clutter or trash. Next will be the work sectors, such as aisles and loading docks, to determine whether congestion occurs, and if so, what can be done to resolve it. The condition of storage shelves, pallets and more will be checked along with the state of repair of all equipment that is used for material handling.

The latter is crucial, particularly when it comes to forklifts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says one of the biggest threats to the safety of employees in distribution centers is forklifts -- not only are the operators threatened but also foot workers. The agency says each year forklifts cause about 100 fatalities, almost 35,000 serious injuries and just under 62,000 minor injuries. Investigators have determined that the typical reasons are the lack of training, careless operation, improper attachments and tools, and negligent maintenance.

Distribution center employees in New Jersey who are suffering the consequences of workplace accidents can file benefits claims with the state's workers' compensation insurance program. The system aims to provide financial assistance to injured workers by covering medical bills related to the injury. Furthermore, those whose injuries caused temporary disability will also receive a percentage of their average weekly wages to make up for lost income.

Source: multichannelmerchant.com, "Does Distribution Center Housekeeping Indicate Other Issues?", Brian Barry, Aug. 22, 2017

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