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The link between pace of warehouse work, employee injuries

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

As more people in California and across the nation shop online, the need for more warehouse workers to process those orders continues to increase. So, too, do the demands placed on existing warehouse workers. Studies show a link between the frenetic pace of warehouse work and the prevalence of warehouse worker injuries.

According to Business Insider, a study of warehouse workplace inspections revealed that the pace of work in some warehouse environments “wildly increases the risk of injury” for employees.

How often some warehouse workers suffer injuries

Research shows that employees who work for one particular leading warehouse employer face an especially high pace of work. As a result, those employees are about twice as likely as those working for other warehouse employers to suffer serious, debilitating injuries.

What injuries often result from warehouse work

Warehouse work is undeniably tough on the body, and many warehouse worker injuries result from heavy lifting. Musculoskeletal disorders are especially common in warehouse environments. “Musculoskeletal disorder” is an umbrella term for repetitive motion injuries ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis to back pain and hernias. The leading warehouse employer that has an injury rate about twice as high as the average warehouse company asserts that musculoskeletal disorders account for about 40% of its worker injuries.

Musculoskeletal injuries are not always immediately apparent. As a result, some workers continue to work after suffering them, which may make the injuries worse. Also, at one particular warehouse owned by the leading warehouse employer, the average worker who suffered a musculoskeletal injury took 103 days to recover.

Some warehouse workers say they voiced concerns about the fast pace of work in their warehouses and the dangers it creates for employees. Some of them also say their employers did little, if anything, to assuage these concerns.