You need someone to fight for your rights when you've been hurt on the job. Indiana workers expect fair treatment from their employers, their insurance companies, and workers' comp, but too often, that's not what happens to the more than 2,000 Indiana warehouse workers injured every year. That's where an experienced work injury attorney can make a difference.
Indiana warehouse workers have rights. We fight for them.
At Boughter Sinak, LLC, we stand up for injured warehouse workers throughout Indiana. We conduct thorough investigations, collect evidence, talk to witnesses, and consult experts to build strong cases that get real results.
We know the stakes are high after a work accident. Depending on the circumstances, injured warehouse workers may be eligible to file a workers' compensation claim and a third-party lawsuit. The key is to contact us as soon as possible to review your rights and options with an experienced work injury lawyer.
How warehouse accidents happen
According to the Indiana Department of Labor, most warehouse workers require time off work to heal after an accident.
Whether it's a fulfillment center, sortation center, delivery station, hub, cross dock center, refrigerated facility, or another type of shipping and storage center, here are common hazards that cause warehouse accidents:
- Poor ergonomics. Injuries can occur because of lifting and lowering heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in uncomfortable body positions, and repeating the same tasks frequently. The highest risk of ergonomic injuries for workers occurs during loading and unloading or picking pallets, bins, boxes, and similar objects. Such accidents can cause immediate pain or lead to long-term discomfort due to back injuries like strains, sprains, herniated discs, and repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
- Powered industrial trucks (PITs) or forklifts. Typical situations leading to forklift accidents include driving off loading docks, operating on unsecured trailers, tip-overs, objects falling, and collisions with people. Stand-up forklifts also pose the risk of underride accidents. Forklift accidents can cause fractures, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious, potentially fatal injuries.
- Slips, trips, and falls. Warehouse workers are particularly susceptible to slips, trips, and falls due to the dynamic nature of the work environment, which constantly changes with different products and orders. Fractured bones and muscle pain frequently result from slips and falls. Depending on the specific circumstances, falls can also lead to disabilities or fatalities.
- Hazardous chemicals. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), warehouses often lack effective communication regarding the safe handling of hazardous chemicals, resulting in significant risks of injuries and illnesses related to toxic exposure. Workers in refrigerated warehouses face even higher risks, particularly those using anhydrous ammonia for cooling. Eye injuries can also be caused by chemical exposure.
- Conveyors. Workers are at high risk of injury if they get caught in the conveyor's mechanism due to loose clothing and accessories or while attempting to fix an issue or clear a jam. Similarly, other automated tools, such as labelers and pallet wrappers, can pose significant dangers. Accidents involving conveyors or malfunctions in automated machines can lead to amputations caused by crushing, tearing, or severing of body parts. Regular inspections, maintenance, and training play a key role in preventing accidents related to conveyors.
- Electrical hazards. Warehouse electrical hazards include machinery powered by electricity, power lines, extension cords, and other potential sources. Exposure to electrical shocks and burns can result in significant harm to internal organs.
- Warehouse work can be physically demanding, leading to exhaustion. In warm weather conditions or with inadequate ventilation, there is a risk of overheating and heat stroke.
- Refrigerated warehouses. In refrigerated warehouses and cold storage facilities, temperatures typically remain below 50 degrees. Workers are susceptible to frostbite and cold stress without adequate warm clothing and sufficient breaks for reheating.
Amazon warehouse accidents and injuries
Some warehouses experience more accidents than others. Independent investigations point to significant hazards at Amazon warehouses. This is notable because Indiana has about a dozen Amazon fulfillment and sortation centers, including facilities in:
- Fort Wayne
Researchers estimate that Amazon employs about one-third of warehouse workers in the U.S. – and accounts for half of all warehouse injuries annually reported. According to reports, Amazon has twice the industry average injury rate.
Amazon warehouse occupations most at risk for injuries include employees in unloading, unpacking, stowing, and picking, as well as destuffers, "waterspiders," scanners, smart packers, and AFE rebin operators.
Injured warehouse workers turn to Boughter Sinak, LLC
At Boughter Sinak, LLC, we have extensive experience fighting for injured warehouse workers in Indiana, handling both workers' compensation claims and third-party lawsuits.
Our work injury attorneys are committed to helping warehouse workers seek the compensation they deserve, including full-time and part-time employees, seasonal hires, non-citizens, and even those hurt on their first day at work.
Don't delay. Strict legal deadlines may apply to your case, and you don't want to miss out on the compensation you’re entitled to under Indiana law.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your potential legal options. There are no obligations, and we offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing in attorney fees if we don’t win your case.