Jun 30, 2022
Common Home Improvement Store Injuries and Their Causes
Home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s are filled with heavy merchandise, machinery, liquids, and various construction materials. These items pose dangers to individuals working in these stores. Even if workers follow safety protocols, accidents can happen, leading to serious or catastrophic injuries or, in some cases, death.
Harm suffered from a workplace accident at a home improvement store can cause a person to be out of work for some time or return to a lower-paying job. If you’re a Home Depot, Lowe’s, or other home improvement store worker harmed during the course of your employment, you could file a workers’ compensation claim to supplement funds for lost pay and medical care. Pursuing benefits isn’t always a straightforward process, and it may be in your best interests to get help from a lawyer.
Causes of Workplace Accidents at Home Improvement Stores
Home improvement stores carry lots of merchandise and tools for do-it-yourself or professional construction projects. Often, the shelves are stacked with building materials and other products, and special equipment is needed to get them down for customers.
Because there are so many types of merchandise and moving parts in home improvement stores, workers can get hurt in various ways.
Some of the most common causes of on-the-job accidents include:
- Slips and falls: A worker could slip on spilled water, paint, grease, or other liquids. They might also lose their footing on debris, such as sawdust, sand, cement, or soil.
- Unstable shelving: Product storage units might be damaged or overloaded, diminishing their capacity to hold merchandise. Heavy items, like lumber or bags of cement, can fall from shelves.
- Improperly stacked shelves: The shelves themselves might be in good condition, but a worker might not have stocked the merchandise on them properly. Unsecured products can fall when someone reaches for them or vibrations from a passing forklift or ladder shakes them loose.
- Falls from ladders: Occasionally, a worker might need to retrieve merchandise from a high shelf for a customer. While on the ladder, the employee could lose their balance and fall. Or it may be that the wheel locks were not properly maintained, and the ladder rolled, causing a tumble.
- Power tool malfunctions: Home improvement store workers must sometimes cut lumber, chains, or other products for customers. The equipment used for these tasks may be faulty or handled incorrectly, leading to an injury.
- Forklift accidents: Workers can be injured by forklifts in various ways. For instance, they might lose control of the vehicle and crash into an object or person.
- Crushing hazards: An employee’s limbs could get caught between ladders, forklifts, tools, and other equipment.
Accidents occurring in home improvement stores can lead to a range of harm, including:
The Effects of Workplace Injuries
Harm suffered on the job can lead to physical and financial burdens. You might be unable to work or be cleared to work with limitations. Whatever the situation, your income may be significantly diminished.
On top of that, to restore your health, you will need medical attention and may require rehabilitative services. This type of care is not cheap.
If your accident happened on the job, you could seek workers’ compensation to relieve some of your financial stresses.
Workers’ compensation covers:
- Medical bills. This includes expenses for hospital stays and prescription medications.
- Lost wages. If your injury causes you to miss more than 7 days of work, you may be entitled to weekly benefits that are 2/3 of your pre-injury average weekly wage. If you must return to a lower-paying job because of your injury, you could get workers’ compensation benefits to supplement the pay you are missing out on.
- Rehabilitation costs. You may be entitled to benefits for rehabilitative care, such as physical therapy, necessary to help you recover from your injury and get the skills you need to return to work.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you’re a Home Depot, Lowe’s, or other home improvement store worker and are injured on the job, you must report the incident to your supervisor immediately. In Georgia, you are required to provide notice within 30 days of the incident; otherwise, you could be ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Your employer’s insurance company will review your claim to determine whether to grant it. If you don’t agree with the benefits offered or the company denies your claim, you could request a hearing with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. An Administrative Law Judge will hear your case and determine what benefits you’re entitled to (if any).
Schedule a Consultation Today
At Hansford McDaniel LLC, we recognize the pain and hardships you’re experiencing and the urgency of receiving compensation following your workplace accident. That is why our Atlanta lawyers are ready to advocate on your behalf and seek a just outcome for you.