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Warehouse employee injuries increase with robots and automation

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Workplace injuries sustained by employees at warehouses owned by a major technology company increased steadily since 2016. As reported by CNBC, workers at the company’s automated fulfillment centers recorded at least 14,000 serious injuries in 2019.

The number of purported incidents reflects nearly twice as many injuries compared to the industry’s average. The company, however, disputed the report and claimed that its employees may have instead suffered from sprains or strains.

Common workplace injuries

Employees whose work requires lifting boxes or moving materials face a high risk of injury, as noted by Small Business Trends. Carrying or lifting heavy objects during a work shift makes up the largest category of workplace injuries. Accidents related to slipping and falling from heights or ladders reflect the second most common on-the-job injury.

Employees required to maintain a fast pace while working with robots or on an automated assembly line may find themselves in physical pain because of task repetition. Repetitive motions such as lifting, bending and packing boxes may cause long-term damage to a muscle or tendon over time.

The need to seek medical attention when injured

Regardless of how trivial a workplace injury may seem to an employer, ignoring it may result in a serious medical condition or a permanent disability. When employees begin experiencing pain, they may require medical attention to prevent an injury from worsening.

Workers who overuse their muscles and joints to keep up with the pace of an automated work environment may need regular visits to a physical therapist. Timely treatment can prevent a minor injury from becoming a disability.

When an employee’s work duties cause an injury or medical condition, he or she may qualify for workers’ compensation. The benefits received may cover the cost of the required treatment and lost wages.

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