As e-commerce continues to grow in popularity, so, too, does the size of the workforce working in warehouses across Mississippi and other parts of the United States. As the number of employees working in warehouses rises, so, too, do the number of injuries and fatalities experienced by warehouse workers. This raises concerns about why employers are not doing more to keep their workers safe.
Per EHS Today, the injury rate among warehouse workers has become so high that it is now on par with that of farmworkers, who have long held one of the nation’s most dangerous jobs.
Warehouse injury, fatality statistics
The most current research available shows that the injury rate among American warehouse workers is 5.1 per 100. However, safety advocates believe this figure is going to continue to rise moving forward as employers work to streamline efficiencies and employees work more closely with motorized equipment.
The number of American warehouse employees dying on the job is also on the rise. Between 2015 and 2017, the number of warehouse worker deaths across the nation doubled.
Today’s warehouse workers face many hazards. Some of those hazards involve the physically demanding nature of the job. Packing, lifting and moving boxes may lead to ergonomic stress. This may place workers at high risk for back and musculoskeletal injuries. Other warehouse worker risks involve exit and storage hazards and insufficient training and supervision, among others.
Warehouse employers have an obligation to follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines and protocols. Failing to do so places warehouse workers at an even higher risk of a work-related injury or fatality.