Various changes in the retail warehouse industry are forcing it to become more fast-paced, which means that employers may be more willing to sacrifice safety for efficiency and productivity. Warehouse workers in California are thus more liable to be injured on the job.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the injury rate for retail warehouse workers at 5.1 per 100 full-time equivalent workers: about the same as the one for farmers. The BLS also points out that fatal injuries in warehouses went from 11 in 2015 to 22 in 2017. The following are a few areas where workers’ safety can be compromise
First, many warehouses are using robotic machines and even robotic forklifts, which can strike or crush workers who have not been properly trained. The frequent offloading and repackaging of large shipments can lead to obstructions around the exit and in the aisles, a situation that’s unsafe and expressly forbidden by OSHA.
Then there are the dangers associated with the fast, repetitive motions that are required when packing, labeling and so on. Workers may stand for excessively long periods of time, twist their bodies too vigorously or be harmed through high noise levels or a cold interior. Stress and fatigue will increase the risk for other injuries. Workers should, therefore, be trained on every aspect of warehouse safety.
If employees are injured, they may seek workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault. For assistance during this trying time, victims may want to consult a lawyer who can help to ensure that the claim contains all necessary information and that it is filed in a timely manner.