Home > Uncategorized > Forklifting Injuries? A thing of the past…

Forklifting Injuries? A thing of the past…

Forklifts.  Normally, your humble blogger uses the word to pretend he’s doing exercises when he’s really just eating dinner.  But, outside of the world of puns and overindulgence, forklifts (and their less useful cousins, pallet jacks) are incredibly useful but also incredibly dangerous devices for warehouses and their employees.

If you run a search on Lexis or WorkCompCentral, forklift injuries are plenty and varied.  There are cumulative traumas from extended periods climbing in and out of them.  There are trip-and-fall injuries.  There are cases where the forklift fails its human worker and tips or drops something heavy on a co-worker.

One of the remedies to this problem is making tech news – the Seegrid GP8k is an autonomous forklift that can “approach a pallet, lift it, transport it safely, and put it where it needs to go.”

But avoiding the cost of industrial injury isn’t the only benefit – this particular instance of automation comes with fewer wages paid, fewer pieces of merchandise damages, more efficiency in the warehouse.

Your humble blogger submits to his beloved readers that California’s policies, including but not limited to workers’ compensation benefits, continues to make automation attractive.

Now, your humble blogger will occasionally take abuse form the more fiery members of the applicants’ bar and their cheerleaders because of this position.  Do I want injured workers to suffer? To starve?  To do dangerous jobs and bear the risks themselves?

California often deludes itself into thinking that it is playing the role of Robin Hood – lightening the load of those fat-cat employers and insurers and giving the working man a reasonable living.  The reality is that California steadily robs future workers of their jobs.

Certainly, accidents can happen to even the most careful and diligent employees, but workers’ compensation benefits are also provided to workers who are careless, reckless, inebriated, or deliberately trying to play the “blue collar lotto” to get benefits.  Before you start with the defenses of Labor Code section 3600, remember who bears the burden of proof.  Most defense attorneys can tell you about that one case he or she had where the injured worker was high, drunk, or suicidal and the WCAB awarded benefits anyways.

With one rare exception, robots and machines tend not to be suicidal.

Anywho, dear readers, it looks like automation of the workforce continues apace, so the ills of the workers’ compensation system, though frustrating and unfair, might be relatively short-lived.  Are you ready?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.