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Logistics industry: Growing demand, growing danger

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2021 | Industrial Workers' Injuries, Workplace Accidents

Over the years, the prominence of the logistics industry has skyrocketed. It has done especially well this past year, with many people ordering products right from their homes to avoid going out.

Yet, the rapid growth of this industry as a whole has also led to many questions and concerns over the safety of the workers in this area, especially as more and more reports surface detailing the threats of serious and fatal workplace injuries.

FedEx now facing pushback for danger to workers

It is no secret that Amazon workers frequently face a high risk on the job. Recent reports and blog posts of our own in the past have discussed these risks as well as the accusations that the company places workers’ health and safety in jeopardy.

However, now FedEx is facing similar complaints. The Southern Maryland Chronicle reports that many workers state that – like Amazon – the company places speed and production over their employees’ safety. While this story centers on the company’s hub in Tennessee, the article begs the question as to whether or not this example is one of a larger trend for not just FedEx in Tennessee, but their locations in Maryland as well as other large distribution companies in the area.

The risk of injury spreads far and wide in the whole industry

Why does the logistics industry leave so many workers facing significant risks on the job? The accelerated growth of the industry over the years likely plays a large role, with many companies concentrating on hiring and growth to meet consumer demands instead of the safety of their workers.

However, many other factors contribute to the risk in this industry as well, including:

  • Dangerous jobs: This industry employs many people in some of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. It has a large number of warehouse workers, package handlers and delivery drivers – all of which are jobs that carry some of the highest rates of fatal work injuries.
  • Common accident risks: Some of the most common injuries workers across all industries suffer include overexertion injuries, falls, struck-by accidents and motor vehicle accidents. Whether working in a warehouse or driving a delivery truck, many workers in this industry have a high chance of facing these injury risks.
  • Overnight shifts: To meet consumer demands, many workers work overnight or late shifts in the shipping centers or warehouses. As we have discussed in past blog posts, overnight shifts or long hours can significantly increase the risk of fatigue. In turn, this can also increase the risk of a workplace accident.

Of course, efficiency is essential in the workplace. Everyone from employers to workers understands that. However, the demand for efficiency should not come before safety for all workers in the logistics industry. Warehouse workers should recognize the risks their employment entails, and if they are injured on the job, they should seek counsel to ensure they receive the coverage they are entitled to.

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