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Warehouse employer’s focus on productivity raising injury rates

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Warehouse employees make their living in dangerous environments. The physical, fast-paced, nature of warehouse work can easily lead to injuries or fatalities on the job. Research shows that the injury rates seen in some U.S. warehouses are much higher than they are in others. This raises questions about why this is the case and what employers might better do to protect their workers.

According to CBS News, the world’s largest e-commerce company sees a much higher injury rate among its warehouse workers than other warehouse employers across the nation.

Warehouse injury statistics

In warehouses owned by that ubiquitous e-commerce company, employees see an injury rate that is twice as high as that seen at its closest industry competitor. In 2020, the injury rate in warehouses owned by the same e-commerce platform was more than 50% higher than that seen among all warehouse workers across the United States. Last year, the injury rate in warehouses owned by that employer was 6.5 for every 100 full-time workers.

Warehouse injury causes

The main reason the nation’s leading e-commerce employer sees more injuries than other warehouse employers is that it has an intense (some may say “unyielding”) focus on productivity. Employees have mere seconds to pack and prepare each box for shipment. Employees who fail to meet stringent productivity quotas may face sanctions for failing to do so.

While employees of the globe’s largest e-commerce retailer experience far more injuries than other warehouse workers, they also suffer more serious warehouse injuries than those working for other industry employers. About 90% of injuries suffered by these warehouse workers keep them from being able to perform their typical job duties.

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