In an ideal warehousing and distribution world, there would be no Georgia workers. And that would mean that there would be no workplace injuries and no need for employers to pay Georgia workers’ compensation benefits.
That ideal warehousing and distribution world is in the development stage, according to a recent article about the industry in our state. Robots are doing much of the work that used to be done by humans in a new warehouse just 16 miles southeast of Jonesboro.
The McDonough warehouse stretches under a 17-acre roof where humans and a workforce of 225 robots are separated by a black chain-link fence. The facility is part of the booming Georgia warehousing and logistics industry, which is growing at a robust 15 percent per year.
Amazon has four fulfilment centers across the state, and Target, Wayfair home furnishings and Dynacraft bicycles all employ workers in the industry that employs about 118,000 people as packers, shippers and material handlers.
The robots in the brand-new McDonough facility are themselves manufactured about an hour north of Jonesboro in Alpharetta, where Singapore’s GreyOrange has its U.S. headquarters. A recent news article on the changing warehousing industry said the company can build robot-powered warehouses that can have products arrive in one door, be stocked and then shipped out to customers in as little as two hours later, “touched by human hands only two or three times.”
Clearly, the machines pose a threat to warehouse workers’ livelihoods, but they also open doors in high-tech manufacturing and support industries that could replace those jobs.
Fortunately, we humans will always be needed to keep business alive and growing. Unfortunately, we do occasionally sustain injuries that require us to miss work.
Those who’ve been denied deserved workers’ compensation benefits have the right to appeal the decision with the help of an experienced Georgia workers’ comp attorney.