According to a report from CNBC, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is “obsessed” with the high number of musculoskeletal injuries occurring among the company’s warehouse workers. On April 15th, 2021, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos published the company’s 2020 Letter to Shareholders, which noted that “about 40% of work-related injuries at Amazon” are musculoskeletal disorders. Here, our New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys discuss why these types of injuries are so common and explain what you should do if you suffer a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) at work.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Often Occur Due to Overexertion or Repetitive Trauma
As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), musculoskeletal disorders are injuries to “muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs.” They are a serious problem in many industries. Studies have shown that these disorders happen for two main reasons:
- Overexertion: A worker pushes themselves beyond their physical limits. An example includes an Amazon warehouse employee suffering a serious back strain after attempting to lift a heavy box.
- Repetitive Trauma: Also known as a repetitive stress injury (RSI), repetitive trauma injuries occur due to repeated motions that cause gradual, but significant strain on the body.
Amazon is not alone in dealing with high rates of musculoskeletal disorders among employees. The CNBC report on this issue noted that “estimates suggest that MSDs cost U.S. companies over $50 billion each year.”
Amazon: Many Musculoskeletal Injuries in First Six Months of Employment
Notably, the letter from Jeff Bezos to Amazon shareholders emphasizes that musculoskeletal are “more likely to occur during an employee’s first six months.” In too many cases, new warehouse employees are taking on intensive physical tasks without adequate training. Companies can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries by ensuring that workers are well-trained and not asked to overexert themselves.
Four Steps to Take if You Suffer a Musculoskeletal Injury at Work in New Jersey
In New Jersey, employees are protected by workers’ comp insurance. If you are hurt while working in an Amazon warehouse or any other workplace, it is essential that you know how to protect yourself. Here are four specific steps that you should take if you suffer a musculoskeletal while on the job:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Musculoskeletal injuries that are not treated can get worse.
- Notify your supervisor. In New Jersey, injured workers must give prompt notice to their employer.
- Complete the workers’ comp paperwork. You are entitled to financial benefits for medical care and temporary disability.
- Be ready to seek professional help. A workers’ comp attorney can help you navigate the claims process and recover the maximum benefits.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a New Jersey Workers’ Comp Attorney
At Schibell Law, LLC, our New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that you get the full and fair benefits you deserve after an on-the-job injury. If you or your loved one suffered a musculoskeletal injury in the workplace, we can help. Contact us today for a free, no obligation initial consultation. With offices in Ocean Township, Howell Township, and Toms River Township, we handle work injury claims all around New Jersey.