Warehouse Employees Face Work Hazards
From Pickers, Packers to Forklift Operators: Warehouse Employees are Faced with a Wide Range of On-the-Job Hazards
Warehouse employees, such as pickers, packers, and forklift operators perform vital supply chain services that ensure goods and products are efficiently delivered to consumers. Due to increased demand in e-commerce and consumption, companies are expanding their production and storing capacity. This in turn creates an increased demand for warehouse workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of warehouse employees doubled from 645,200 in 2010 to 1.3 million in in 2020. By 2030, it is estimated that there will be 2 million warehouse employees. Unfortunately, this boom in warehouse hiring also has resulted in an increase in the total number of work injuries due to warehouse accidents.
Compared to the general workforce, warehouse workers are exposed to an increased risk of injury when performing their daily job duties. In 2019, the average rate of recorded injuries in the warehouse industry was 4.8 for every 100 full-time workers. In 2020, Amazon, the largest e-commerce retailer in the United States, reported 6.5 injuries for every 100 full-time workers, more than double the number of the entire workforce (2.8 injuries for every 100 full-time workers).
Warehouse employees are faced with a wide range of potential hazards that can cause severe injuries or fatalities. The most common hazards faced by warehouse workers are:
- Forklift accidents – Overturned forklifts are the most common cause of forklift accidents. Across all industries, 95,000 workers per year are injured while operating forklifts.
- Lifting/Overexertion – Injuries occur due to lifting, pulling, pushing reaching for products. Back and shoulder injuries are the most common result of lifting and overexertion.
- Slip and falls – Commonly caused by uneven surfaces, debris, and spilled liquid/products.
- Being stuck by products – This is most commonly caused by products being improperly stacked on pallets and storage shelves.
Warehouse accidents can cause permanent and severe injuries that prevent an employee from returning to the heavy physical demands of a warehouse worker. If you or a loved one is injured in a warehouse accident, it is important that you retain a knowledgeable and aggressive Illinois Workers’ Compensation attorney to fight for the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to.