It is up to the employer to provide safe and secure work environments for employees. Not only do workplace injuries reduce productivity, they can potentially reduce workers’ job satisfaction as well. Workplace injuries in California and across the nation sent approximately 2.5 million employees to the emergency room in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As technology continues to change work environments across the nation, it is critical to update employee safety protocol to ensure people do not become injured or killed on the job. According to Screen Rant, failure to do so may lead to serious worker deaths and injuries.
One of the largest companies in the world enhanced technology used in the warehouses in order to increase productivity and meet increasing customer demand. Amazon implemented the use of robots to speed up order picking time substantially. The robots grab products off high shelves quickly so workers do not have to use forklifts and risk becoming injured in the process.
Yet, as robots are grabbing products and fulfilling orders quickly, human packers struggle to keep up with the increased load.
Serious warehouse injuries at Amazon reached more than 14,000 in 2019 alone, which was an 33% increase from 2016. The numbers may be higher, as some warehouse supervisors may underreport injuries or fail to report them at all. Furthermore, more injuries are reported at warehouses that use the new robot technology than traditional warehouses.
When technological advances are made to boost productivity, it is critical to identify how these changes affect workers and their safety.