As the shopping malls vanish one by one, large warehouses are springing up in their places as part of a retail marketplace dominated by e-commerce. While the market has created many new opportunities for employment in these stadium-like warehouses, it has also created new opportunities for workplace injuries. While there are obvious hazards of working in a warehouse, there are also others that may not be so apparent.
Amazon employs thousands of workers in warehouse facilities, some of which are 20 football fields in length. OSHA safety inspection data shows that Amazon has been the subject of more than a hundred federal investigations since 2016. OSHA has warned Amazon to improve working conditions that pose any risk of injury to workers.
Order pickers or order-fillers at large e-commerce warehouses lift heavy packages and objects. Any type of heavy lifting may cause back injuries, which are one of the most common injuries in these facilities. As expected, repetitive-motion injuries and arm, shoulder, elbow, and musculoskeletal strains also regularly occur.
Warehouse workers also risk equipment-related injuries from operating forklifts, cranes, and other large handling equipment. Businesses stack as much inventory as possible into space to maximize square footage and minimize operational costs. Order pickers are required to use lift trucks to access shelving units as high as 30 feet, which exposes them to a risk of falling and being struck by falling objects, in addition to the hazards of using equipment.
To reduce worker risks and injuries, companies have automated the order process at warehouses with artificial intelligence and robotics for use in tandem with human workers. Regardless of its cost-effectiveness, using advanced automated technology can pose additional dangers and risks to all types of warehouse workers if this technology is not administered, managed, and supervised safely and responsibly.
In Pennsylvania, order pickers and other warehouse workers who are injured at work may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other benefits. The attorneys at Powell Law carry on the work of a law firm that spans generations and has represented thousands of Pennsylvania workers over a period of 115 years. Contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777 or visit us online. Call now for a FREE case evaluation. You don’t pay unless we win!