Frito-Lay, the company that is very likely responsible for your favorite potato chip, currently employs about 55,000 people across 29 individual brands. Many of these tens of thousands of jobs exist in the state of Pennsylvania, as the state is home to many warehouses in areas like Moosic, Williamsport, Paxinos, and more.
But while it’s certainly wonderful that so many employment opportunities exist for Pennsylvania residents through this company, the reality is that Frito-Lay warehouse workers face substantial risks every time they clock in. Warehouse work is one of the most physically dangerous professions, and it’s not uncommon for the corporations behind the warehouses to try to shortchanged their own injured employees.
If you or a loved one is employed at a Frito-Lay warehouse and has experienced a workplace injury or sustained an occupational disease, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Overwhelmed by the prospect of navigating that system alone? You don’t have to be, because a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys workers’ compensation lawyer for Frito-Lay warehouse injuries attorney will be by your side every step of the way. At Munley, our workers compensation attorneys are experts in all things workers’ compensation, and have the expertise and experience to get you the help you deserve. Don’t hesitate to reach out for a free initial consultation.
Understanding workers’ compensation
What exactly is workers’ comp? Essentially, it is insurance provided by your employer that covers any injury or occupational disease you may sustain while working. This means that if you’re hurt while working, you can’t sue your employer to cover the costs of your medical bills; rather, you can file a workers’ compensation claim that, if successful, will compensate you for your injury. Most Pennsylvania employees (with some exceptions) are guaranteed coverage by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.This compensation available through the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs covers four main areas:
- Wage replacement benefits
- Medical treatment
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Other benefits
Common causes of warehouse injuries
Because of the physical nature of their role, and the fact they often interact with heavy machinery, warehouse workers run a fairly high risk of being injured while working. In fact, OSHA reports that in 2020, there were 4.4 nonfatal injuries per 100 full time warehouse workers, which is a higher injury rate than that or most other industries. While there’s no shortage of possible injuries and accidents while working in a warehouse, some of the most common causes include:
- Forklift injuries. In 2020, forklifts caused 78 work-related deaths and 7,290 nonfatal injuries. Injuries caused by forklifts also tend to require more time away from work than other types of injuries; for instance, in 2017, the median number of days taken off work after a forklift accident was 13, far higher than the overall median of 8 days
- Slips, trips, and falls. Injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls are so common amongst warehouse workers that OSHA now provides an official handout explaining how to prevent them from happening. Something as simple as taking a hard fall can cause a huge and significant amount of injury, including anything from a fracture to a traumatic brain injury.
- Overexertion and repetitive stress injuries. While different, both overexertion and repetitive stress injuries are gradual, generally resulting not from a single incident but from a repeated activity. Overexertion injuries include things like lifting items that are too heavy, which can result in severe neck and back injuries. Repetitive stress injuries occur when a warehouse worker’s job requires them to do the same physical motion again and again, putting a great amount of strain on that singular part of the body. This can lead to injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and damage to the neck and back.
- Being hit by falling objects. It’s common for items that have been stacked too high to tumble and cause an injury to a nearby worker. These type of accidents can also occur if someone working at a height drops an object.
These are just the beginning of all the types of accidents and injuries that can occur for warehouse workers, and any of them can be life changing. One Frito-Lay employee claims he was electrocuted while working, and that the company (along with their parent company, PepsiCo) are denying proper medical care and refusing to assist in the workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, this is all too common, and it needs to stop. If Frito-Lay is resisting the workers’ compensation process, you have the legal right to fight back. Call Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today so we can help protect your interests.
How do I file for workers’ comp?
So you’ve been injured at work, you believe that you are eligible for workers’ compensation, and you want to get the process started. What now?
Technically, you have 21 days to alert your employer in order to receive benefits starting from the date of your injury, however, it’s best to tell them immediately. If you wait more than 21 days, your benefits will start from the date of your claim, and if you wait longer, you may not be able to receive any benefits at all. Once notified of your injury, your employer will both file a report with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and notify their own insurance company. The insurance company will then begin the process of assessing your claim and making a decision about whether or not it’s valid.
Do I need a lawyer for a workers’ comp case?
It’s always best to work with an attorney when pursuing workers’ compensation, but it’s even more important when going up against a huge and powerful entity like Frito-Lay. Forbes values the brand at $16.3 billion, which means that they have the time and resources to combat any claims that don’t benefit them. Going up against them alone is a risky choice and may result in your claim being denied, forcing you through a taxing and arduous appeals process. With an experienced attorney fighting for you, you stand a much better chance of having your claim approved the first time around.
Your attorney will gather extensive evidence to build out your case, illustrating the extent of your injuries, the cost of your medical bills, the sum of your lost wages, and more. They can also help you keep track of your employer’s involvement and willingness to help the process forward, ensuring you don’t get slowed down by an employer dragging their feet.
In the case that your initial claim is denied, your attorney can assist you through the appeals process. In the case that Frito-Lay forces you into a situation where you have to go to court, your Munley Lay attorney can represent you there as well. While some personal injury attorneys have experience only in reaching settlements, all the lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have years of hands-on trial experience as well, and can continue protecting you in court.
Work with an Experienced Warehouse Workers Compensation Lawyer
We are so sorry if you or a loved one has experienced a warehouse injury while working at Frito-Lay, but we can assure you there is hope. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys is here to help you find a way through by providing excellent legal support and services.
If you are in the process of seeking workers’ compensation, if you have questions about your rights to these benefits, or if your employer is being resistant, please don’t hesitate to reach out to for a free consultation.