As the number of Connecticut consumers making purchases online continues to grow, so, too, do the demands placed on today’s warehouse workforce. Many warehouse workers are working long, difficult shifts that place a considerable strain on their bodies already. Some warehouse employers are also increasingly cutting corners to boost efficiencies – and sacrificing safety while doing so.
Per EHS Today, the number of warehouse workers who died on the job doubled between 2015 and 2017. The number of warehouse worker deaths rose from 11 in 2015 to 22 warehouse worker fatalities in 2017.
Why warehouse injuries and fatalities are rising
While the increase in the number of consumers shopping online means more Americans are working in warehouses, it also means some warehouse employers are trying to keep up with the pace and cut costs by hiring managers who hold two roles: that of a safety manager and a production manager. However, in some warehouse settings, this leads to managers ignoring obvious safety concerns in favor of getting a job done faster. Some warehouse employers are also relying more on robots and machines in warehouses, and robot-human interactions and accidents are also becoming more common and problematic.
What employers need to do to help protect workers
Employers who have managers who are in charge of both safety and efficiency may want to rethink how they staff their warehouses. Employers should also be able to enhance safety in their businesses by setting established safety protocols and creating digital safety management platforms that track warehouse injuries and fatalities.
Warehouse employers have an obligation to follow the safety guidelines for warehouses set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.