Chances are this holiday season you will send and/or receive a package. Probably several. We all delight in the ‘miracle’ of a package arriving on our doorstep a mere few days after ordering. It’s easy to forget that there is no magic involved. Considerable effort and many workers are responsible for the arrival of your holiday gifts. We present the lifecycle of your gift and point out the workers involved and some of the safety and health issues faced at every step. This holiday season remember the workers who make and deliver the presents you gift and receive. Happy Holidays!
Workers designed the product you purchased. Long hours at computer screens could lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
Workers manufactured the item you purchased. Approximately 15.4 million workers are employed in the manufacturing industry and account for nearly 6% of the fatalities and 13% of the illness and injuries in the workplace.
If you order online, someone developed and maintains the website. These employees may work in the ‘gig’ economy which poses unique workplace safety and health issues.
You are probably most familiar with those delivering your packages. Whether it is postal workers or those in non-standard work arrangements, they face motor vehicle hazards, stress, fatigue and shiftwork.
At the end of your package’s lifecycle, recycling workers manage the boxes and wrapping paper you recycle, and if your gift replaced an old cell phone or computer, those may end up in recycling too. If the gift wasn’t quite right, it may make its way back to a retail store during the post-holiday return frenzy.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!