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Automation increases the risk of workplace injuries in warehouses

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2020 | Workplace Accidents

A hiring surge in warehouse workers and delivery drivers generally accompanies a company growing its business. The risks of injuries, however, may increase when new or inexperienced employees find themselves adjusting to automated and fast-paced working conditions. Major changes in work habits or new technologies may take some time for many individuals to master.

As reported by CBS News, employees of a major e-commerce company, for example, are prone to twice the number of injuries experienced by traditional warehouse workers. Autonomous vehicles, robots and warehouses managed through artificial intelligence can present significant dangers and hazards to untrained or poorly managed employees.

Injured warehouse workers require time off to recover

An injury that occurs while on the job may result in an employee taking time off from work to seek medical attention. On average, a worker at the automated warehouse noted in the CBS News report requires close to six weeks of recovery time after experiencing a workplace injury. When injured workers have healed and return to work, nearly 90% of them also need scheduling adjustments or restrictive task responsibilities.

An employer owes a duty of care to provide its workers with premises clear of falling objects, dangerous equipment and hazardous conditions. While companies often provide safety training and preventive measures, an accident could occur even with highly skilled employees.

Workers’ compensation may be necessary for repetitive motion conditions 

A preprogrammed assembly line may follow production quotas that not every human employee can realistically maintain. Sprains, strains and other repetitive motion problems reportedly occur in automated warehouses. While some new employees may “put up” with pain to receive a paycheck, repetitive stress injuries may eventually require medical treatment.

An employee may file a claim for workers’ compensation as soon as he or she begins to experience adverse health effects. It is not a requirement to prove that an employee did not cause an injury or that he or she worked at a company for a specific amount of time.