A new report conducted by a third-party research firm reveals that the demands of transport workers, as defined by warehousing, transport, manufacturing and construction, are having significant negative impacts not only on industrial workers’ bodies, but also their mental and emotional wellbeing.
Hundreds of workers polled
The report, which polled hundreds of active industrial workers across industries, reveals:
- 47% of industrial workers are stressed at their jobs
- 32% of warehouse and transport workers express they’re too tired to engage with their friends and family as a result of their jobs
- 24% of warehouse and transport workers reveal that they’re missing out on important life moments because of bad or inconsistent hours
“The future of work shouldn’t be exclusive. The conversation that we’re hearing so much today around flexible benefits and more comprehensive body and mind support from employers isn’t including our most critical workforce – the Industrial Athletes who manufacture all of our goods, keep our grocery shelves stocked and deliver critical services,” said Sean Petterson, CEO of StrongArm Technologies, which paid for the study done by the research firm, provides ergonomic injury prevention data and safety insights for Industrial Athletes™. “There has been a massive positive shift in the recognition of essential workers during the pandemic, and now it’s time for companies to walk the walk and provide them better support and safety in their jobs.”
The study, conducted online with the third-party research firm YouGov, uncovered not only that industrial workers are feeling unprecedented strains of the job, but also that they are recognizing pushback to change when it comes to safety and work/life balance in the industry. The full report and findings can be found at strongarmtech.com/workforce-report.
Nearly 1 in 4 workers facing mental health stress
While the majority of recent public focus on industrial jobs in warehousing, transport and manufacturing has centered on physical injuries, the data suggests that mental health impacts are another result of the increasingly demanding characteristics of these jobs. Overexertion, a lack of breaks and regular stretching, and repetitive, ergonomically strenuous job tasks are common factors contributing to this increasingly strained workforce.
- 24% of warehouse and transport workers said their job is having a negative effect on their mental health, nearly equal to the 29% who admitted it is taking a toll on their physical health
- While white collar future of work concepts are driving increased wellness support for desk roles, the industrial sector has lagged behind in employee support.
- Nearly a third (32%) of industrial workers reported that it's difficult to even take time off or take a vacation
- Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) reported that they feel like the supply chain/industrial industry as whole has a resistance to change when it comes to making the industry more friendly to work/life balance
Workers lack proper training and resources
Outside of job benefits, industrial workers in sectors like warehousing report minimal training before beginning work — a critical aspect to workplace safety.
- 51% of warehouse and transport workers report getting 5 or less days of training for their jobs
- Of all industrial workers, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) said they got 0 days of training
- Workers similarly report they are not yet getting exposure to evidence-based safety technologies such as wearables, which have been proven to reduce injuries.
- Only 9% of industrial workers said they currently use wearable technology to improve safety
- Warehouse workers were 3 times more likely than manufacturing workers to agree that they’d take another job if it were using wearable safety technology
Industrial workers are seeking better training, resources and support for their jobs – something they see unfairly balanced within their organizations. Respondents were 25% more likely to say that their company prioritizes innovation for corporate workers (10%) in comparison to those that said their company prioritizes innovation for industrial workers (8%).
In October, ISHN conducted an informal poll on our website. We asked readers whether their job demands were increased in 2022, and asked whether they were more or less stressed on the job this year than in years past. The results were not surprising.
An overwhelming majority of 74 percent of respondents said they are more stressed in 2022, while 26 percent said they are less stressed. None of those surveyed said their stress levels are about the same as last year.