Workers and visitors that find themselves in warehouses or other cargo loading locations can be in a dangerous situation. Shipping and receiving are part of loading docks, but with this job, there are many hazards that can arise. Any fall within a loading dock can be serious in nature due to the dock’s platforms being high from the ground, sharp surfaces, and hard equipment that loading docks have.
Hazards in Loading Docks
The most obvious danger of a loading dock is the height. One-quarter of warehouse injuries is due to slip and falls on loading docks. Machines and people are constantly passing through loading docks, making it a high traffic area. Wear and tear can start to occur in the metal dock plates, making them slippery from the constant use of loading docks. When hazards such as mud, water, and oil spills are present in a loading dock, the chances of slipping and falling are quite high. Leaks from machines and cargo pallet spills are common occurrences in loading docks that can cause a slip and fall.
When a dock does not have shelter from the outside elements like snow and rain, poor weather conditions can become a great hazard. Also, a lack of lighting can cause a worker to fall right off the dock. These hazards are just some dangers that can be present in a loading dock that needs to be addressed as soon as the issue is made aware to management.
Reducing the Risk of a Slip and Fall in Loading Docks
Property owners can do a variety of things to reduce the risk of a worker or visitor slipping and falling in a loading dock. These are the following things that can be done to assure that the odds of someone getting hurt are reduced:
- Only those trained in safety protocols should be allowed to have access to the loading dock areas
- Signs of restriction should be clearly visible
- Training for the employees in reporting spills and cleaning up
- A dock seal or dock shelter should be installed
- A bright reflective non-skid colored paint should be used on the edge of the dock
- Padding or guardrails should be placed on sharp corners
- Regular inspections should be conducted
Workers Compensation or a Personal Injury Claim?
Generally, employees who get injured in a loading dock fall are limited to worker’s compensation unless there was a third party who was responsible for the accident. For example, the loading dock company hires an independent cleaning worker that comes to inspect the area and fails to see a hazard that was present which caused a worker to get injured in a slip and fall, then a case against the independent cleaning worker can be established as their negligence to see the hazard was the reason why the worker got injured in the slip and fall.
Along with a person being responsible, a product liability claim can also be established if a faulty equipment contributed to the injuries of the victim. For example, if a worker was maneuvering a forklift that failed to stop and it was found that the breaking system failed, then the victim can have a claim against the manufacturer.
Miami Slip and Fall Loading Dock Lawyers
Everyone needs to take some responsibility for their own safety when it comes to slips and falls. Most of the time, no matter how much caution is used, a person still undergoes an accident as the result of another person’s negligence. When this occurs, the victim needs to understand the laws surrounding a slip and fall case with the help of a Slip and Fall Miami Lawyer from Percy Martinez Law Firm. They always want the best for their clients and strive for the maximum compensation.