U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 440,000 workers in manufacturing were injured in 2015. This huge number suggested that warehouse can be considered as identical with difficult and heavy tasks that could be dangerous for workers when not done carefully. Owing to this reason, some people might think that it is almost impossible for individuals with a disability to work in this industry.
In fact, despite the injury, Disability Benefits Help reported that disabled individuals are proven to be able to equally working in the warehouse. They can be as productive as able-bodied individuals. In addition, with repetitive and increased automation in the warehouse, it will make it easier for workers with a disability to work in such working environment. According to Mencap, these are types of jobs that could most easily be made accessible to people with disabilities, including: jobs that require practical skills which can be learnt through practice and repetition, do not require high level qualifications, do not require a driving licence, have fixed elements and only require a little multitasking, and where support is available.
See also: First Step into the Future Warehouse
Moreover, disabled people are somehow more responsible for their job. Companies such as AMC Theatres, Home Depot, and Microsoft have been hiring disabled workers and they see them as great assets. A study from DC Velocity also showed that workers with disabilities had a lower turnover which makes them valuable employees. DC study monitored the inclusive workers in Walgreens. They found that disabled employees are proven to be able to work side-by-side with other able-bodied colleagues. They are also happy and productive as Walgreens helped them with cognitive disabilities learning and provide a fun warehouse environment. For example, they named aisle 7, rack 4 as cheeseburger zone.
Further, DC study concluded that ill-bodied workers can adapt well in a warehouse. As long as the company support them with the needed materials, “This can be good social policy, it is also good for business,” DC wrote. In order to reap the advantage of working with people with disability in your company, you can support them by assisting and training workers with a disability, as well as providing ongoing support to help them be productive and become valuable members of the team.
“As employers, we need to look at what people can do, not what they can’t do.” – Jason Bradshaw, a warehouse manager
Read also: Green(ware)house: The Effect of Green Warehouse for Environment and Company