No one works harder between Thanksgiving and Christmas than a United Parcel Service employee. Even the jolly old man in the red suit only works one night a year! If you work for UPS—or were hired on as temporary help for the busy season—you might think that aches and pains are just a part of the job.
Warehouse work and delivery driving are physically demanding jobs, but you should not have to work through an acute injury or chronic complaint. If you are employed by UPS in Ohio and suffer an on-the-job injury, call us at Monast Law Office to talk about what to do next.
UPS Employees Eligible for Ohio Workers’ Compensation
Moving nearly a billion packages during the holiday season alone requires many people working a lot of very stressful hours. UPS describes its work environment as “fast-paced,” requiring “energetic” workers with “stamina.” To a workers’ comp injury lawyer, that is a recipe for disaster.
Whether you are a full-time, part-time, or temporary UPS employee, you should be eligible for workers’ comp if you are injured on the job. Employees in all positions are at risk of an injury, including:
- Package delivery drivers. Driving the famous brown truck is a demanding job at any time of the year, but the increased demands during the holidays put drivers at a higher risk of injury. Our client Jeff suffered a serious knee injury while unloading a UPS semi-truck.
- Warehouse workers and package handlers. Safely sorting millions of packages in a warehouse setting is an acquired skill that new hires and temp workers don’t have the luxury of learning during the busy holiday season.
- Driver helpers. If you were a full-time delivery driver and you were given a helper for the busy season, what would you expect them to do? Heavy lifting and constantly jumping into and out of the truck, of course. Temporary driver helpers are some of the hardest UPS workers during the holiday season.
- Seasonal support drivers. Working from their own vehicles, these drivers are under the gun to handle the last-minute and excess loads that regular drivers can’t. In addition to lifting and tripping injuries, seasonal drivers are at high risk of a vehicle accident.
- Tractor trailer drivers. Long-haul UPS truckers are only eligible for Ohio workers’ comp if they are employed in Ohio. All semi-truck drivers, like our client Paul, are at risk of injury, but UPS drivers hauling double and triple trailers during the busy season are at an increased risk.
How UPS Workers Are Typically Injured on the Job
We’ve discussed the kinds of injuries delivery drivers often get on the job, but here, we share the specific tasks that usually cause their injuries.
Package Lifting and Handling
UPS employees often engage in repetitive lifting and handling of packages, which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. The strain on the back, shoulders, and knees from lifting heavy or awkwardly shaped packages can cause injuries.
Sorting and Loading Packages
Sorting and loading packages onto conveyor belts or delivery vehicles require rapid and repetitive movements. This can contribute to overexertion, fatigue, and injuries to the shoulders, wrists, and hands.
Delivery Vehicle Entry and Exit
Getting into and out of delivery vehicles often throughout the day can pose a risk of slips, trips, and falls, particularly during adverse weather conditions or when navigating uneven surfaces. We helped Jason get the benefits he was owed after he fell stepping out of his UPS truck.
Driving and Transportation Hazards
UPS drivers face the risk of accidents and injuries while driving, including collisions with other vehicles, slip and fall incidents during vehicle entry or exit, and injuries related to prolonged sitting.
Walking and Maneuvering in Warehouses
UPS employees working in warehouses may be at risk of slips, trips, and falls due to the fast-paced environment, crowded spaces, and the need to navigate around equipment and other workers.
Repetitive Scanning and Labeling
The repetitive nature of scanning and labeling packages can contribute to overuse injuries in the hands, wrists, and fingers. Employees may experience strain from continuous button pressing and wrist movements.
Loading and Unloading Packages From Conveyor Belts
Loading and unloading packages onto conveyor belts involve repetitive bending, twisting, and lifting motions, which can contribute to strains and injuries in the lower back, shoulders, and knees.
Manual sorting of packages into specific bins or containers can lead to repetitive stress injuries, particularly in the upper body, as employees perform rapid and repetitive movements for extended periods.
Vehicle Maintenance Tasks
Employees involved in vehicle maintenance tasks may be at risk of injuries related to lifting heavy equipment, exposure to hazardous substances, and performing repetitive tasks associated with vehicle upkeep.
Interacting With Aggressive Animals
While delivering packages, UPS employees may encounter aggressive animals on customers' premises, posing a risk of bites and injuries. Handling such situations requires caution and may cause injuries if not managed properly.
It's important for UPS employees and their employers to focus on safety measures, provide proper training, and implement ergonomic practices to reduce the risk of injuries associated with these job-related tasks and motions.