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Holiday Season Adds to Workplace Injury Risk in Warehouses

Worker pushing a cart full of boxes in a warehouse.

Any type of warehouse work can lead to a risk of workplace injuries in New Jersey. For those who are employed in these types of jobs where it is necessary to perform lifting, carrying, pulling, using heavy equipment, operating vehicles, and manipulating machinery, there are a seemingly endless array of potential mishaps. Those who have been hurt will be confronted with lost income, medical costs, and the possibility of long-term damage making it imperative to understand the workers’ compensation process.

Health experts emphasize problematic working conditions in Amazon warehouses

While Amazon is viewed as the clearest example of the potential dangers warehouse workers can face, these challenges are everywhere in this type of atmosphere – especially during the holiday season. Recently, public health professionals asked that Amazon make improvements to its workplace safety protocol in advance of the holiday season. In addition to its regular workforce, Amazon planned to hire around 150,000 seasonal workers just for the holidays. Because the atmosphere is so hectic and Amazon has such stringent rules, workers are often injured. This is a worry in any warehouse with an employer that is trying to meet its quotas for the holiday rush.

Still, Amazon is known to have a higher rate of injuries than even other warehouses. From 2017 to 2020, its rate of serious injuries or workers who needed lesser tasks because of injuries was almost twice what it was for similar businesses. In 2020, for example, there were more than 24,500 serious injuries among its workforce of nearly 582,000 people. The most recent number of Amazon employees reached 1.3 million. Although Amazon has responded to pressure from safety advocates, the government, and the public by increasing wages and trying to promote safety, the problems are expected to persist.

Warehouse workers should understand the steps for workers’ compensation

Among the common types of injuries that can happen in physically, mentally, and emotionally arduous jobs are back injuries, head injuries, broken bones, pulled muscles, and lost limbs. Falls are also a common source of injury. With the litany of concerns that will arise after being hurt on the job, people are frequently unsure of what to do or what benefits they are eligible for. After seeking medical care, it is vital to understand the workers’ compensation process. That includes whether they can get temporary or permanent disability and what the options are if they cannot do the same type of work as before. Being protected is a priority. Having advice when pursuing a claim is key from the outset.