A recently published article has pointed to some alarming statistics regarding workplace safety for warehouse workers. The article was published by University of California Riverside sociology researchers and focuses on data provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and many other sources. These statistics show that warehouse workers face some of the toughest working conditions of any field in the United States and are subject to a higher work injury rate than many other comparable professions.
In 2009, it was reported that 4.5 percent of the approximately 200 million warehouse workers suffered a work injury. This rate is 1.4 percent higher than the construction industry for the same time period. It was also reported that this rate of injury exceeded the mining and logging industries.
What may be even more compelling are the statistics relating to work-related illnesses. It was reported that warehouse workers are four times more likely to become ill as a result of their work than those in the construction industry. These statistics led the authors of the article to conclude that the warehouse industry has "unsafe and unfair" labor practices.
It is important for California workers to stay on top of the most recent work injury and illness statistics. Through these statistics, we can see whether certain industries are making improvements to their work place safety practices, or whether they remain stagnant in their attempts to improve. It is every worker's right to be provided a safe work atmosphere. However, as this article points out, many industries have consistently failed to meet this demand.
Once this failure has been realized, workers can begin to understand their rights when it comes to demanding fair compensation for their medical expenses, lost income and other entitlements that are provided by California's workers' compensation laws. By arming yourself with all the details, a compelling case may be made for these benefits. This will assist both the individual and, in the long term, may assist other California workers in obtaining the compensation benefits to which they are entitled.
Source: Policy Matters, "Unsafe and Unfair: Labor Conditions in the Warehouse Industry," July 18, 2012