South Carolina workers have the right to a safe workplace under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. they also have the right to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration if they believe there are serious hazards in the workplace or if they suspect OSHA standards are not being met.
Falls from heights are among the most common workplace injuries that occur in warehouses. In one incident reviewed by OSHA, a worker was killed after falling from a wooden pallet held by a forklift 7 feet above the ground. It was common practice at the company for workers to use the forklift to lift them to the top shelves in order to move inventory. In this instance, the worker slipped while rearranging inventory and fell to the ground. He was transported to a hospital and died a few days later as a result of his injuries.
Among the likely causes of the accident cited by OSHA were a lack of controls to prevent the improper use of equipment by workers. More specifically, the employees were not provided with safe equipment to use to reach inventory on the highest shelves, manufacturer instructions were not followed and forklift operators had not been trained or certified in the proper, safe use of the equipment.
Accessing the top storage shelves by using a forklift to raise warehouse workers creates serious fall risks. Companies have a duty to provide a safe working environment at all times. Employees who have suffered workplace injuries may be entitled to file a claim for benefits under the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Those who are ight want to have the help of an attorney throughout the process.