One of the busiest times of the year for manufacturers and warehouse workers is around the holidays. In addition to the pandemic, employees have been working around the clock to keep up with online shopping and shipment orders. This year, the United States Postal Service (USPS) estimates that there will be about 750 million packages that will be delivered for the holiday season. They also estimate that there is a 12 percent increase in shipping totals in 2020 compared to the 670 million packages that were delivered last year. As a result, warehouse and industry workers have been labeled as the “Backbone of Our Economy” this holiday season by Business Insider.
Since shopping online has drastically increased this year, the demand for warehouse workers has also increased. Business Insider states that more than 146,000 new warehouse and storage jobs have been created from April to October in the United States. Since then, the number of jobs available continue to increase. They also claim that this statistic drastically increased because of the plentiful amount of online shopping orders and to prepare for the incoming holiday season. Although, it is common for companies to hire seasonal workers for the holiday season, this year has provided a larger job increase compared to the past years. Major corporations, such as Walmart and Amazon, have followed this trend as well. Currently, Amazon has 1.2 million employees around the world. In addition, Walmart has more than 2.2 million employees worldwide, and 1.5 million workers in the United States.
In addition to working many hours, workers have also reported unsafe working conditions during the pandemic. Since the beginning of the year, the spread of COVID-19 has been a concern of many companies and workers. There have been reports in manufacturing and packaging plants of not maintaining safe conditions for workers, such as crowded shifts, increases in cases, and not adhering to health and safety requirements. Common Workers’ Compensation claims that can occur as a result of work may include machine accidents, overexertion, and strain and sprain injuries. Personal Injury cases can also develop at work. For example, if an employee slips and falls while working, they may be entitled to Personal Injury benefits. As a result, it is important to have a safe and controlled working environment to prevent injuries and illnesses.