As more people across Tennessee and the rest of the nation shop online, the need for warehouse workers, and the demands on those workers, increase. The surge in online commerce has led some warehouse employers to cut corners when it comes to safety. Many warehouse employers are also making their employees work longer shifts, even though such actions raise workplace injury and fatality risks.
According to EHS Today, rather than immediately replacing worker jobs with robots, some warehouse employers are changing worker duties, expectations and schedules and making their jobs more repetitive, more stressful and faster-paced.
Warehouse fatality statistics
The on-the-job death rate among American warehouse workers is rising rapidly. In 2015, there were 11 warehouse worker deaths that took place across the nation. By 2017, there were 22 such deaths, doubling the number seen two years prior. Warehouse workers also face the same 5.1 per 100 full-time workers injury rate as farmworkers, who work in one of the country’s most dangerous environments
Warehouse injury risks
Warehouse workers face many on-the-job injury risks. Some of these risks involve heavy lifting. Lifting-related injuries are more common when warehouse workers lack training in how to lift safely. Slips, falls and forklift-related injuries are also common in warehouse work. Warehouse workers are also increasingly interacting with motorized equipment and robots, and this, too, creates workplace hazards and injury risks.
The longer and more demanding a warehouse worker’s shift is, the higher the chance of that worker suffering a serious on-the-job injury or fatality. Warehouse workers hurt on the job may be able to seek compensation through workers’ compensation insurance.