Amazon’s fulfillment centers continue to provide a large number of jobs to residents of major cities. These centers work to fulfill online orders and ship them off to customers. Job roles include pulling items from shelves, sorting orders, and preparing them for delivery. This type of warehouse work comes with a risk of injury, specifically repetitive stress syndrome. When this or other injuries occur, you’d think a company the size of Amazon would provide adequate support. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
A recent article has exposed some serious issues with workplace injuries at Amazon. One incident involved the fulfillment center in Fort Worth, TX. Michelle Quinines had started working there in 2017, often putting in long hours to fulfill orders. A few months into her job, she developed symptoms of carpal tunnel. She visited the on-site clinic a total of ten times and was always sent back to work. Eventually, the carpel tunnel got bad enough that she required wrist surgery. However, Amazon’s insurer for workers’ compensation didn’t authorize the surgery until February of 2019. This is puzzling, given Amazon’s financial success. Unfortunately, there are similar cases in other Amazon locations.
Why Workplace Injuries Shouldn’t Be Ignored
Warehouse workers such as those employed by Amazon fulfillment centers have physically demanding jobs. It’s imperative they take action when an injury occurs or they start noticing symptoms of repetitive stress. Even if an injury is minor, a worker needs to have it addressed right away, as it could eventually become worse and lead to other issues. Repetitive stress injuries can be especially dangerous because workers can easily dismiss them as common soreness. However, there are a number of disorders repetitive motion can cause, including:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Epicondylitis (also called tennis elbow)
These disorders occur when a worker performs the same motion using the same group of muscles for an extended amount of time. They can also develop as a result of ergonomic issues or overexertion of a specific muscle group. If gone untreated, these problems could lead to permanent disability, nerve damage, or the need for invasive surgery.
Who’s Responsible When a Workplace Injury Occurs?
Warehouse or factory owners owe it to their employees to provide a safe work environment. They must also provide adequate breaks to ensure their workers aren’t pushed beyond their limits. Even if the workload is high, as it is in Amazon fulfillment centers, employees should not be asked to overexert themselves. Most employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their workers. But as we’ve learned by Michelle Quinines’ case, it doesn’t always provide support. That’s when workers must take a stand.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you may be facing expensive medical bills and lost wages. It’s important you pursue to the compensation you’re owed so you and your family don’t suffer. At the Law Office of Donald S. Fair, we have the expertise needed to help you get compensated for a workplace injury. Contact us today at (903) 870-9050 to schedule a free consultation.
David K. Wilson & Associates at (903) 870-9050