Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
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Material handling injuries cited in workers' compensation claims

Workers in the warehousing and fulfillment centers in New Jersey face a host of workplace injury risks. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates safety standards for this industry, holding employers responsible for the safety and health of employees. However, workers' compensation claims citing material handling injuries continue to be filed.

The steps employers should take to protect workers include minimizing ergonomic risks that cause fatigue. The frequent bending and twisting, along with repetitive lifting, stretching, carrying and placing of heavy or awkwardly shaped products cause chronic exhaustion and musculoskeletal disorders. Protection like gloves, eye protection, safety boots, helmets and other personal protective equipment can limit the injuries. Upgraded equipment such as forklifts and conveyor belts can make work processes safer and more efficient.

Maximizing the available methods to limit noise and vibration can prevent the associated harm, such as loss of hearing and vibration-related musculoskeletal injuries. Employees must be allowed frequent rest breaks to prevent cumulative fatigue. Disregarding this safety precaution and the lack of preventive measures can lead to serious injuries.

Workers in the warehousing, fulfillment centers or other material handling facilities in New Jersey might find comfort in knowing that the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system will cover their medical expenses and lost wages if they should suffer work-related injuries. The benefits claims process can be complicated, but help is available. An attorney who is experienced in navigating the administrative and legal proceedings of workers' compensation benefits claims can help injured workers pursue recovery of the compensation they are entitled to under applicable laws.

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