Working in a warehouse equipped with modern technology may appear to many employees as a desirable opportunity. Automation, however, may bring workplace demands that result in serious disabilities.
Companies using automated machines to process customer orders might place a greater value on speed and volume. Robots can maintain the fast pace and meet an employer’s quotas without taking breaks. Humans, however, could have a difficult time keeping up with the machines.
Symptoms of repetitive stress injuries
Repetitive motions, such as lifting and squatting, could lead to severe neck, back or shoulder damage. Ignoring pain and muscle sprains when they start occurring could result in a serious medical condition.
If an injury begins to develop from performing a repetitive task, an employee may need to consider requesting a reassignment or seeking medical treatment. As explained by the Cleveland Clinic, workers should not ignore symptoms of swelling, stiffness and numbness. Further harm could develop.
Untreated symptoms may lead to a loss of function in an employee’s hand, shoulder or back. Continuing to push to maintain work quotas may eventually result in a serious disability.
When repetitive actions cause a disability
An employee of a major technologically driven warehouse found herself with a permanent back disability two months after starting her job. After packing about 100,000 items into boxes, a physician diagnosed her with chronic back pain.
As reported by The Atlantic, her fast-paced repetitive motions caused her to develop joint inflammation and a back sprain that left her permanently unable to work in the warehouse. Based on her medical diagnosis, her condition will most likely never improve.
Workers’ compensation benefits for work-related disabilities
Proving that a severe injury or medical condition resulted from performing a work-related task reflects an important factor in qualifying for workers’ compensation. The condition or injury may require either a temporary or a permanent disability claim. It is not uncommon for legal representation to play a major role in an individual receiving the benefits his or her condition requires.