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Injuries could increase when working with robots and automation

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2020 | Workers' Compensation |

Working at one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies has its risks. With increased dependence on the use of robots, warehouses relying on automated order processing can present unique dangers. 

As reported by CBS News, warehouse employees at one of the top five revenue-producing e-commerce companies face a greater amount of risk for injuries. The risk can be as much as twice as high as those working for companies with less dependence on automation. As part of a study, researchers reviewed productivity logs from 28 of the company’s facilities across 16 states. The study found a higher volume of serious workplace injuries than the number reported for coal miners and lumberjacks. 

What categorizes a “serious” injury? 

A “serious” injury generally describes bodily harm, pain or loss of motion that forces an employee to take time off from work. While workers in traditional warehouses typically experience falls and sprains, employees working with robots and automation suffer injuries from trying to keep up with the speed of the machines. 

Researchers found that workers performing repetitive tasks at an unusually high pace can experience serious injuries. Based on figures related to the e-commerce company noted by CBS News, for every 100 employees, approximately 11 sustained a serious workplace injury during 2018. Nearly 90% of the individuals injured had job restrictions placed on them or required a leave of absence. 

Do repetitive motion injuries qualify for workers’ compensation? 

Most employees of Connecticut’s private companies who suffer job-related repetitive motion injuries may apply for worker’s compensation. Wrist or back pain, aches and loss of motion may require medical treatment and time off for recovery. Workers’ compensation can cover medical expenses, physical therapy and lost time from work. 

When applying for workers’ compensation benefits, a company must provide an employee with the proper paperwork. If an employer attempts to prevent or discourage a worker from applying for benefits, it may be acting in violation of the law. In some cases, a worker may need to file a legal action.