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Repetitive Stress and Motion Injuries in an Automated Warehouse

Attorney Mark Rufo PC

The advanced technology now used in many warehouses enables an automated system to fulfill high-volume customer orders. Employees working with robotics, however, face unique risks of workplace injury. 

New Hampshire’s warehouse workers may not realize they have suffered physical harm until the damage becomes debilitating. Injuries caused by overexertion account for nearly 34% of the incidents that require time off from work. 

As reported by the National Safety Council, repetitive motion, bending and lifting comprise about a third of the 510 injuries per hour that U.S. employees suffer. Physical overexertion in a fast-paced warehouse may eventually result in wearing down a worker’s ligaments, blood vessels and cartilage. 

Serious medical conditions caused by stress, repetition and overexertion can develop over time. Employees may, however, ignore the initial symptoms of physical deterioration while they try to keep up with their employer’s demanding work quotas. 

One of the nation’s largest technological e-commerce companies uses state-of-the-art automation to process orders at its New Hampshire warehouse. Across the company’s many U.S. fulfillment centers, employees suffer twice the number of injuries set by the warehouse industry’s standards. 

For every 100 of the company’s employees, 9.6 injuries result in a loss or restriction of their job functions, as reported by Mashable. While automation may intend to reduce workplace injuries, the speed at which employees must work to keep up with robots may often defeat the purpose. 

Work-related accidents and injuries can require an employee to seek medical attention and time off to recover. An injury that prevents a worker from performing his or her job duties may qualify for relief through workers’ compensation. The benefits provided can enable injured employees and their families to obtain the financial support required for treatment and taking time off for recovery.