In Pennsylvania, many people work in warehouses and understand the dangers they face every day. Still, that does not eliminate the need for a basic safety protocols and employers caring about employees. Too often, both are lacking. Fortunately, when workers are injured, they can seek workers’ compensation benefits to help them through. All employees, regardless of the type of work they do, should be aware of how to be approved for the maximum benefits. In some jobs, it is more important than others due to the potential risk. A major employer that is reportedly experiencing a significant number of warehouse injuries in Pennsylvania is Amazon.
Pennsylvania Amazon warehouse injuries twice what they are at other warehouses
According to a study of accident statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for 2017 to 2020, Amazon warehouses in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states had more injuries leading to lost workdays or requiring lighter duties than other warehouses. In some locations, the number of serious injuries was twice what it was in other warehouses. In Pennsylvania, for every 200,000 hours worked, the company had more than seven serious injuries. In comparison, Walmart only 3.4 serious injuries for every 100,000 fulltime employees. Other warehouses had similarly low numbers.
This is a problem for Amazon across the nation and OSHA is scrutinizing its workplaces more closely. Using four weeks of data, researchers looked at how many injuries workers suffered. An estimated 40% were musculoskeletal injuries from repetitive use. Examples are back injuries, carpal tunnel and sprains. Physical labor that involves lifting, bending, turning, standing and other arduous tasks can cause these injuries. With more people staying home and avoiding shopping in brick and mortar stores due to shutdowns, Amazon was busier in 2020 and early 2021 than it had been, setting the stage for more work and more injuries.
Warehouse employees should know about workers’ compensation benefits
Since Amazon is such a huge retailer and the demand for efficiency and speed is high, workers may have a greater chance at injury due to its frenetic atmosphere. Even with Amazon’s prominence, there are other warehouses across the state and people performing physically complex duties that can face injuries in any of them. If a worker is hurt and cannot work, needs medical treatment, faces lost income and fear about the future, workers’ compensation benefits can be a necessity. It is imperative to understand the process and know what to do if there is a dispute. Having help is crucial and workers should know their rights.