Employees packing and shipping customers’ online orders can experience serious workplace injuries. As reported by CBS News’ MoneyWatch, testimony provided to the National Labor Relations Board revealed that one of the largest e-commerce companies required its workers to pack boxes in “seconds.”
If an employee could not pack orders fast enough, he or she faced penalties such as termination for not meeting productivity quotas. Bending, turning and lifting at high speeds, however, can lead to debilitating injuries, pain or sprains.
Injured employees require time off to recover
A study of employees working for online retailers revealed that speed often took priority over safety. Approximately 90% of injured employees reported they could no longer perform their regular tasks. The injuries forced them to either stay at home or request duties that required lesser physical demands.
As noted by CNBC, a significant number of employees had to miss work due to lost-time injuries, which means that an individual could not perform his or her job tasks for at least one day. For every 100 warehouse workers, 5.9 employees experienced serious on-the-job injuries that required taking time off in 2020.
Work-related injuries and lost time harm both workers and productivity
The National Safety Council estimates that overall workplace injuries that occurred during 2019 resulted in employees taking 105 million days off to recover. According to the NSC’s Injury Facts website, severe and disabling injuries experienced in prior years accounted for 35 million days off that same year. The NSC estimates that employees may take at least 55 million days off in future years due to workplace injuries they experienced in 2019.
Work-related injuries can cause economic harm to employees because of days off and lost wages. On-the-job accidents, however, may also qualify for workers’ compensation. The provided benefits may cover medical treatment and provide financial assistance during recovery.