Amazon’s two-day Prime Day event this year raked in record sales — Prime members purchased more than 175 million items, eclipsing the retail giant’s combined sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What the extravaganza meant for the organization is that rates of production, packing, and shipping reached all-time highs. With these highs came a slew of safety concerns, uniting many warehouse employees in an effort to ensure appropriate safety protocols are always in place in the organization.
Amazon is not alone. Most large-scale manufacturing organizations witness annual spikes in demand that drive production beyond the normal scope — the winter holiday season and rush to meet year-end quotas among most notable. While these demand drivers are normal and often predictable, they can also introduce additional safety hazards during operations.
Remaining in control in a fast-paced, intense environment is no easy task. Add heavy machinery, hazardous materials, and temporary, inexperienced employees to the mix, and daily operations become not only stressful, but may introduce life-threatening safety issues in the workplace.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing industry saw more than 300 work-related fatalities in 2017. Within that same year, an average of 3.5 employees out of every 100 experienced an occupational injury or illness.
Organizational leaders mitigate rates of occupational health and safety mishaps when they create a culture of safety. In these cultures, employees feel accountable for protecting their own health and wellbeing, as well as everyone around them.