Warehouse work is physically exhausting. Many warehouse workers put in long hours, lifting and moving large amounts of weight, operating heavy machinery, and doing their best to fulfill quotas that can be almost impossible to meet. The need to push themselves to go harder and faster is always there, as failure to be as productive as management desires can lead to a lost job.
These conditions contribute to a number of chronic health conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, as illustrated in a recent article in the Guardian. The article focuses on the workplace stressors at Amazon warehouses, but the same basic template is used by many manufacturers, packagers, and fulfillment centers. In a world that stresses the bottom line, the health of workers is often forgotten.
As with Amazon, many companies appear to have policies and staff in place to help with these risks. A large number of manufacturers employ onsite medical professionals to assist with emergency situations, as well as managing symptoms of chronic diseases that may be impacted by the work environment. But all too often these medical professionals simply rubber-stamp the opinions of management, with no regard for the long-term health of those they are ostensibly there to serve.
Though chronic illnesses are one factor, these same policies of pushing people harder and harder also contribute to accidents. In some cases, a worker is forced to choose between safety and maximum productivity, and when the ability to feed your family is on the line, the choice can be very difficult.
If you or someone you love has suffered a chronic health condition or an injury due to poor workplace policies, please consider consulting with an experienced attorney. As more and more companies look to please Wall Street by maximizing profits and ignoring human misery, all too often the legal system is the only way to hold these organizations accountable for their dangerous practices.