Many Americans take advantage of online shopping from mega-retailers like Amazon for their purchases. Consumers gain online convenience, speed, and an endless selection of goods, but for workers in the warehouse industry, risks are growing as this segment of the economy increases.
Speed can come at an unacceptable cost for those employed in large shipping operations like Amazon. Amazon operates a wide network across the globe of fulfillment centers, offices, and data centers. This vast network and consumer presence means that its warehouse staff is also large, totaling over 250,000 employees across the United States. Yet, working conditions are putting Amazon workers at risk.
Warehouse Work Brings Hazards
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), warehouse work in the U.S. is a hazardous occupation. For 2016, the most recent year covered, there was an above average injury rate in warehouses of 5.1 per 100 employees, with a rate for other industries of 3.2 per 100 employees. Amazon workers are at additional risk in part because of the demand for Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping, which requires an increased work pace.
Recently, Amazon workers at a Staten Island warehouse center were surveyed by a state occupational health and safety committee and their findings showed that they were at risk for certain injuries due to their work duties. The survey covered 145 of the center’s 2,500 employees and 66 percent of those surveyed reported physical pain while on the job. An additional 42 percent reported that their pain continued while off duty. Musculoskeletal injuries and pain sites most frequently cited were the feet, knees, lower back, and shoulders. In addition, the committee found that workers reported psychological symptoms of stress, citing the rapid pace required to meet employer demands.
Amazon has been in the news before for worker safety issues due to its high rate of injury and lack of addressing workers’ safety concerns. In 2018, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health described Amazon as one of the most dangerous places in the U.S. to work.
Most workers are covered for injuries suffered on the job by workers’ compensation laws, which are designed to provide medical treatment and wage replacement. However, employees can be unjustly denied coverage. If you were injured while performing your job, it is important to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer with experience in this specialized field of law. No worker should fight alone when they are hurt by simply doing their job.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Represent Injured Workers
If you were injured at work, the Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP will advocate for you to receive the care and compensation you need. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden, Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken. For a free consultation to discuss your case, please complete our online form or call us at 856-761-3773.