May 9, 2011
Warehouse and transportation workers have the second highest number of occupational deaths and the third highest rate of worker injuries, according to a new report cited by Kari Lydersen at Working In These Times.
Warehouse and trucking were on OSHA’s list of occupations with the highest hazards, according to the report by researchers at Occidental College and the University of Southern California (pdf). In addition to high rates of injury, health hazards include exposure to diesel emissions and heat stress in warehouses and trucks that often lack air conditioning.
Earlier this year a survey by Arise Chicago found that many low-wage immigrant workers did not know about OSHA – or that health and safety complaints are confidential and legally protect (see previous post).
The Chicago area has a vast and fast-growing logistics industry, increasingly concentrated around Joliet. With six national rail lines converging here, the area has 25 intermodal facilities – the highest concentration in the nation — and 300 warehouses employing about 150,000 warehouse workers, according to the report.
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