Texas warehouse workers have physically demanding jobs, and a serious injury has the potential to keep a warehouse worker out of a job for weeks, months or even life. This is concerning given that warehouse injuries and fatalities are rising across the nation. It also raises questions about what today’s warehouse employers might do to protect their workers on the job.
EHS Today reports that the warehouse industry continues to experience widespread change as many consumers increasingly make purchases online, rather than in person. To accommodate increased demand, some warehouse employers are taking shortcuts, lengthening shifts and otherwise making moves that place their workers at high risk of an accident or fatality.
Warehouse fatality and injury rates
The injury rate among modern warehouse workers is now 5.1 for every 100 workers employed full-time. This is the same injury rate seen in the farming industry, which is one of the nation’s most dangerous. Warehouse worker fatalities also doubled between 2015 and 2017, with 11 warehouse workers dying on the job in 2015 and 22 doing the same in 2017.
Warehouse work has always had the potential to take a toll on the body. Heavy lifting creates injury risks, and so, too, do warehouse slips, trips and falls. Some of the injury risks warehouse workers face are the result of new technologies intended to enhance efficiencies. As warehouse workers interact more and more with robots, automated forklifts and similar equipment, injuries and fatalities resulting from these interactions continue to rise.
Some warehouse employers are cutting costs by having the same workers perform several jobs. However, warehouse safety is critical. Having the party responsible for warehouse safety also manage other warehouse operations may endanger everyone who works there.