Men and women have to be strong and in relatively good shape to be a loading dock worker. But that doesn't mean that these workers are safe from injury.
In fact, loading docks have many hazards that can put workers in harm's way when they are loading and unloading goods.
These hazards include:
- Wet, oily or uneven floor surfaces
- Dock edges that are high off of the ground
- Unsecured dock plates
- Unchocked trailer wheels
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from trucks
- Improper lifting and carrying techniques
- Moving forklifts, trucks and other vehicles
These hazards lead to numerous accidents on loading docks. When accidents occur, it's very important for workers to take the right steps so that they can be fairly compensated for their injuries. After being injured, workers should immediately:
Report the injury to management. The law requires you to report the injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident or when you first notice the condition.
Get medical treatment for the injury. Make sure that you tell the doctor all of your symptoms and keep a record of all treatment you receive and purchases you make relating to your injury.
Don't count on your HR department for help. Your employer's HR department has the goal of saving your employer money by limiting workers' comp claims.
Speak to an experienced workers' compensation lawyer. Even if your workers' comp claim is accepted, the insurance adjuster may not afford you all the benefits to which you are entitled.
Workers who are injured on the job face a lot of stress over how they will pay for their medical bills and how they will get by without a paycheck, if they have to miss work. They might feel like they have no options other than to accept what the insurance company is offering.
Insurers know that workers are in this position and they take advantage by offering an unfair settlement or denying the claim altogether. An experienced attorney can make sure that injured workers are aware of their options and that they receive full and fair compensation for their injury.
Remember: It doesn't matter who was at fault. Even if you caused the accident, you are probably still covered by workers' compensation.