We are seeing more common work injuries in our area due to the type of economic growth happening in our area. Central Pennsylvania has witnessed a boom in warehouse and distribution center development. You can see the growth along Interstate 81 in Greencastle, Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Newville, and Carlisle. With that development comes labor intensive jobs and ultimately an increase in work-related injuries.
First, let me say this. Whether you work for the actual distribution center or through a temporary agency at the distribution center, for purposes of workers compensation, it does not matter. You are covered by the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act. Timing of the injury and employment status matters little as well. Whether you have worked for one day or five years, a work injury is a work injury and may be compensable under the PA Workers Compensation Act.
So what are the common injuries we are seeing on a daily basis at Mooney Law?
Whether an injured worker slips on a wet floor, outside on ice or snow, or on product on the floor, slip and falls are common injuries in warehouses. Ultimately, these slip and falls can lead to a variety of different injuries, from back and neck injuries, to knee injuries, to arm and wrist injuries, and even to concussions. They key is to report the injury immediately, seek medical care immediately, and be sure to inform the medical provider of any pain you have, not just the worse body part. Report ALL injuries, not just where it hurts the most.
Distribution centers are busy places. There are multiple fork lifts, pallet jacks, and other equipment running constantly at the same time. That can lead to accidents through collisions, knocking over shelving or product, etc … We also see malfunctioning equipment that causes significant injuries. While waiting to see the doctor, write down or use your notes app in your phone and record your version of what actually happened. It will help you and your attorney later.
Whether it is a back, neck, or shoulder injury, lifting heavy boxes and product leads to many injuries. It is not always improper lifting techniques either. Many times, the boxes or products are just too heavy to be lifted manually. Second, often times, a worker may have arthritis that they are completely unaware of, never had any prior pain or symptoms, but this one lifting incident flared up the otherwise unknown arthritis. Don’t let your employer tell you that it is ‘degenerative’ or ‘arthritis’ and therefore not a work injury. Call Mooney Law right away. We will help.
Repetitive trauma happens mostly to shoulders and hands and wrists. These injuries occur because of constant, repetitive activity at work. It happens, not just because of the repetitive activity, but also because of labor shortfalls that require intensive repetitive activity. Rotator cuff injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome are common conditions caused by repetitive activity. Make sure you report the injury to your employer and make sure you tell the employer it is happening because of constant, repetitive duties.
We see many avoidable work injuries due to unsafe stacking of boxes and product. Injured workers get hit by falling boxes which can lead to many injuries, including neck injuries and concussions.
By no means, are these the only type of injuries that occur at work, but this is what we witness often in warehouse and distribution center type employment.
They key is to follow the four steps when injured at work.
Mooney Law has 14 offices strategically located throughout Central and South Central Pennsylvania to make it most convenient for YOU. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation. Going it alone can come back to really bite you later. Call us at 717-200-HELP or 717-632-4656.