With a surge in online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores declining, jobs at a warehouse to fulfill online orders are becoming more prevalent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that warehouse and storage employment has almost doubled in the past ten years. Reference link.
Warehouse jobs can pay well, and there is a growing demand. However at larger warehouses, risks increase. With bigger and more machinery, workers are often expected to handle heavy loads, although there are many potential hazards, and it can be quite noisy. When you consider all these issues, you have a greater risk of injury to warehouse workers.
As online retailers strive for increased productivity, many workers sustain injuries that lead to medical treatment and missing days of work. A recent article about workplace injuries at Amazon highlights the risks workers face on a daily basis. In some extreme cases, death while on the job, for example maintaining a forklift. Unfortunately, long, tough hours in warehouses increase the risk of injuries.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the rate of fatal injuries in warehouses is higher than the national average. (reference link) Here are some of the contributing factors to warehouse workplace injuries:
– Lack of formal and ongoing training.
– Protective gear not used (ex hard hats).
– Improper precautions while maintaining and repairing equipment.
– Improper forklift use.
– Products which are improperly stacked.
– Inadequate fire safety measures.
– Repetitive motion injuries.
If you are an employee or contractor at a warehouse, to avoid injury, follow all safety precautions and ask your boss to make sure you are fully trained to operate and maintain the equipment. Report any workplace safety issues you notice.
To avoid potential abuse from an employer, you should also know your rights as a worker, both federally and through the state of New York.
Despite having precautions in place, injuries still happen. If you or a loved one are injured while on the job in a warehouse accident, take immediate action. Keep records of the incident, such as pictures and documents like medical bills and pay stubs. You may wish to seek the advice of a workers comp legal team to help navigate the best way forward and receive compensation to which you are entitled. At the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, we can help guide you through the legal process and advise if you are entitled to compensation as a result of a workplace injury at a warehouse.