New York legislators have recently passed two bills that aim to protect warehouse workers by minimizing the risks of musculoskeletal injuries caused by manual handling procedures.
The first bill passed at the end of 2022 prevents employers from imposing excessive manual handling work quotas on warehouse workers, which can increase the risk of developing musculoskeletal injuries.
The second bill passed in May 2022 bolsters the Warehouse Worker Protection Act, by requiring employers to have injury reduction programs that minimize injury risks, especially conditions caused by material handling tasks such as lifting order items on and off storage trolleys and packing stations or unloading vans.
Companies must hire certified ergonomic experts to carry out workplace evaluations and discuss safety concerns with workers. Employees are encouraged to report issues; warehouse operators are not allowed to sanction them for speaking out. Any risk factor that is likely to cause injuries must be identified and addressed quickly.
In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for enforcing national health and safety legislation. Safety laws in the United States can also operate at a local level. While not all parts of the New York bills are part of UK safety legislation, the measures in these bills are good health and safety practices that many UK warehouse owners may abide by and mainly conform to HSE guidelines. If worker injuries are caused by excessive manual loading workloads or as a result of ignoring workers’ safety concerns, organisations may face substantial compensation claims from injured workers.Get a free quote