- Disabled workers are among the most productive yet most underutilized employees and facilities would do well to hire them, David Maloney wrote in a column for DC Velocity.
- The Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy released statistics that last month that said for people for those with disabilities, the unemployment rate was more than double that, at 11.3% while people without disabilities was only 4.8%.
- The column highlights Walgreen's inclusion program in its Anderson, SC site, where more than 40% of employees had physical or mental disabilities. Yet the warehouse was one of the company's most productive, he writes.
Warehouse work can be hazardous, however, and many employers still cite the toughness of the job as a reason for their hesitance to hire more disabled workers. Over 440,000 workers in the manufacturing industry were injured on site according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, the numbers alone question whether the industry has a responsibility to hire disabled workers, even in a different position? Warehouse jobs can often be repetitive, and the increased automation of jobs in these facilities may make the tasks even more suitable for the disabled.
Companies such as AMC Theatres, Home Depot, and Microsoft have been hiring disabled workers and see them as great assets. A study by the American Society of Safety Engineers found that workers with disabilities had a lower turnover rate than the non-disabled population, making them valuable employees.