Top Causes of Amazon Warehouse Injuries

Top Causes of Amazon Warehouse Injuries

Insufficient training, faulty equipment, malfunctioning machinery, and a fast-paced environment are the leading causes of Amazon warehouse injuries. These injuries can also stem from a failure to follow laid-down safety protocols and falling objects in a warehouse. An Amazon warehouse worker has a higher risk of getting injured on the job than any other employee. Some common injuries a warehouse worker may suffer include contusions, lacerations, and bone fractures.

Warehouse Workers helping fellow working laying on the floor. Amazon warehouse injuries

You may have grounds for a worker’s compensation claim if you suffer a job-related injury or illness in an Amazon warehouse. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the process of pursuing compensation from your employer’s insurance company. Working closely with a lawyer removes the risk of claims denial, as insurance providers always try to minimize or deny a payout.

Amazon Warehouse Injury Statistics

A 2021 Occupational Safety and Health Administration report shows that Amazon’s warehouse injury rates are twice the industry average. The report indicates that 6.6 warehouse workers per 100 employees suffered serious work injuries in 2021. This injury rate is higher than the overall worker-injury rate of 2.8 workers per 100 employees.

Most Common Amazon Warehouse Injuries

Bruises

Bruises form a large portion of injuries that Amazon warehouse workers suffer while working. Most of them are minor and heal faster. Major bruises, however, take time to heal and can negatively impact the output of warehouse workers. In addition, severe bruises can immobilize a worker. These injuries typically result from heavy items falling or moving machinery.

Sprains and Strains

These injuries form the bulk of injuries you may suffer as an Amazon warehouse worker. The injuries result from falling, twisting, and pushing. A sprain or strain can stem from a stretched or torn ligament. Tearing your tendon or stretching your muscles may also lead to a sprain or strain injury.

Bone Fractures

Working in a warehouse might expose you to several incidents of trauma. When you suffer repeated minor traumas, it can lead to bone fractures. Having a fracture can severely impact your ability to work. In turn, this can hurt your ability to earn a living.

Lacerations

Lacerations are deep cuts on your skin. You may get a laceration when working around heavy machinery. Lacerations occur abruptly. If you suffer such an injury, seek medical care right away. The injuries can result in blood loss and excruciating pain if not treated immediately. A permanent scar might develop at the site of injury. Employees increase the risk of lacerations as they rush to meet their daily targets.

Musculoskeletal Injuries

Musculoskeletal injuries constitute the most common injuries you may suffer while working at an Amazon warehouse. The injuries affect your muscles, tendons, and bones. They take time to heal and can sometimes even take several months. You are four times more likely to suffer a musculoskeletal injury while working at an Amazon warehouse than any other warehouse.

Long Term Impacts for Workers

You may suffer long-lasting health problems after getting injured in an Amazon warehouse. The health challenges may include permanent disability, deep pain, and inability to go back to work. This is usually the case if you suffer brain or spinal cord injuries. In some instances, you may heal, but the emotional trauma and financial challenges may persist. You may also have scars on your skin that may hurt your self-esteem.

Fortunately, however, you have a right to receive compensation for injuries or illnesses suffered while working at an Amazon warehouse. While the financial compensation cannot return you to your pre-injury status, it can help cover medical bills, lost income or wages, and other losses.

Common Causes of Amazon Warehouse Injuries

High-Demand and Fast-Paced Environment

Amazon workers have strict productivity targets that they must achieve. Failure to achieve the set targets leads to disciplinary cases with a high risk of termination. Even if you get injured while working, your chance of fully recovering is minimal. This is due to the fast-paced nature of work at Amazon warehouses. Your manager may not allow you to work at a pace where you have a chance to heal while still working.

As you rush to complete the daily targets, you may not be keen to follow the safety protocols. You may not even see the signs indicating workplace hazards. In addition, due to the rush while working, you may improperly lift objects. All these contribute to increased risks of suffering injuries.

Insufficient Training and Employee Turnover

High turnover in the warehousing industry results from factors like burnout and time pressure. Corporate policies may also exacerbate employee turnover. Due to high turnover, the new employees who join the warehouse workforce have less time to receive appropriate training. Insufficiently trained workers can lead them to make mistakes that, in turn, result in severe injuries.

Faulty Equipment and Malfunctioning Machinery

Your employer has a legal obligation to provide you with safe and properly maintained work equipment. The machine given should be safe to use and suitable for your job. A forklift in a warehouse, for instance, should be regularly maintained to avoid accidents while working. Poorly maintained equipment and malfunctioned machinery may cause injuries.

Your employer should not force you to operate unsafe equipment that risks your life. You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you suffer an injury while operating faulty equipment or machine.

Failure to Follow Safety Protocols

Amazon warehouses are likely to ignore safety protocols. This may be partly due to rushing to complete allocated quotas on time. Working under pressure usually introduces human error into the work process.

Inadequate knowledge of health and safety protocols may also contribute to accidents and injuries. Regulations and hazards keep on changing. Regular training on new safety protocols in the warehouse can help prevent accidents.

Poor Communication

Poor communication in an Amazon warehouse can lead to accidents. For instance, if the warehouse is too noisy, you might be at risk of forklift accidents as you will not hear warnings to clear a forklift operator’s path. The collision between you and the forklift may result in debilitating injuries. It can also result in a fatality.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

The first step after suffering an injury at an Amazon warehouse is to report the injury to your immediate supervisor. Then, seek medical attention for your injuries right away. Hire a lawyer knowledgeable about your state workers’ comp laws to guide you on mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ comp claim.

Your lawyer will interview you and review available evidence to determine if your injuries are eligible for workers’ comp benefits. The lawyer will then investigate your claim further, assemble additional evidence, and file a claim on your behalf. He or she will ensure your claim complies with all the relevant deadliness, statutes, and case laws.

Possible Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Warehouse Workers

The four types of workers’ compensation benefits that you can claim after suffering a work-related injury in an Amazon warehouse include:

Medical Care

The cost of treating warehouse injuries can create a big hole in your finances. Keep all the medical records and bills associated with your treatment properly and safely. These records and documentation serve as evidence during the claim process. Medical care benefits that you are entitled to include financial reimbursement for medical bills incurred in treating your injuries.

Wage Replacement

You can claim wage replacement benefits if you suffer an injury that leaves you with a temporary or permanent disability. While applying for disability benefits, you will need to be specific about the type of your disability. It can be a temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, or permanent partial disability. In some instances, it can be a permanent total disability.

Having a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side while applying for these benefits is a wise idea. The lawyer will guide you on which category your disability lies. Of course, your lawyer will have to examine your medical records and work closely with your treating doctor. The lawyer will also need your payslips, a valid wage verification letter, and other relevant wage documentation to calculate the value of your wage replacement benefits. These documents are also crucial in proving your eligibility for these benefits.

Career Rehabilitation

You may incur severe injuries while working in an Amazon warehouse that may leave you unable to return to your previous job or find any other gainful employment. Career rehabilitation benefits comprise vocational services and therapy for warehouse workers who require some assistance to return to work. The benefits can pay for new training, education, and certifications. These are all geared to help rebuild your working capacity.

Wrongful Death Benefits

In addition to suffering severe injuries, workplace accidents can be fatal. Eligible family members and dependents who lose a loved one due to on-the-job injuries or illnesses are entitled to wrongful death benefits. The benefits help cover medical expenses incurred by the deceased, wage loss, funeral and burial costs, lost financial support, and other losses.