Technology makes shopping easier for consumers, but its increased speed causes more employee injuries. Warehouse and stockroom workers processing orders reflect one of the highest injury-risk groups. One of the world’s largest online retailers sells at least 4,000 items each minute, according to EHS Today.
Employees tasked with packing and shipping customers’ orders may experience repetitive motion injuries. Robots and automation help human workers process orders, but at much higher speeds. Management may expect employees to keep pace with the robots, which could lead to increased physical stress.
Workplace injuries from overexertion and bodily reactions
As reported by the National Safety Council, statistics revealed that overexertion and bodily reactions reflect the top causes of work-related injuries. Employees involved in transportation or warehousing face the greatest risk.
According to the NSC’s Injury Facts website, the use of excessive force while performing repetitive tasks may harm an employee’s back. In 2019, approximately 27 out of every 10,000 workers experienced a physical injury from overexertion.
Hazardous conditions that warehouse employees may face
Warehouse employees not only risk a physical injury such as pain or strain, but they may also face hazardous conditions. More than 25% of workplace injuries in 2019 resulted from contact with objects and equipment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Heavy boxes and falling objects carry the potential to strike employees, which could result in a range of serious physical conditions.
Robots and motorized equipment used in warehouses can cause severe injuries from both strenuous repetition and fast-moving objects. An individual injured on the job may file a claim for workers’ compensation. An approved claim may provide a worker with benefits to cover medical treatment, rehabilitation and time spent away from work to recover.