Fulfillment centers are hubs of activity with workers processing orders around the clock. Large companies like Amazon have dozens of fulfillment centers across the United States employing thousands of people. Unfortunately, as common as fulfillment centers and warehouses are, there are still issues with safety for employees.
In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) consistently reports that warehouse workers are among those most vulnerable to injury.
Common Fulfillment Center Injuries
The most common injuries experienced by fulfillment center workers include:
· Forklift Injuries: OSHA estimates that around 100 workers are killed each year in forklift accidents. Another 95,000 suffer forklift-related injuries. Forklift accident injuries often include crush injuries, broken bones and lacerations.
· Falling Objects: Fulfillment centers often stack products high on shelves. Sometimes shelving can be more than one story tall. Falling objects is a common cause of injury in fulfillment centers, and results in brain injuries, head and neck injuries, strains and muscle tears.
· Slip and Fall: Slip and fall accidents are among the most common workplace injuries. According to the U.S. Department of
Labor, slip and fall accidents make up around 15% of all accidental death claims, and 25% of all injury claims. Slip and fall accidents result in injuries including broken bones, torn ligaments, knee injuries and hyperextension injuries.
· Overexertion Injuries: Fulfillment center work is often repetitive, which can lead to overexertion or repetitive strain injuries.
These injuries cause pain and inflammation of the joints, back and neck.
· Heat-Related Illness: Fulfillment centers and warehouses are often poorly ventilated and may not be air-conditioned. This leads to the risk of heat-related illness, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
For workers in fulfillment centers, there is no doubt that the holiday season is requiring additional hours and fulfillment of more orders than ever. Remember to follow safety guidelines and policies, and always report hazards that could injure you or someone else.