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The Fulfillment Center Intervention Study: Implementing and testing a participatory workplace intervention that introduces “Health and Well-being Committees” at fulfillment centers of the e-commerce division of a national retail firm

This study evaluates a participatory, prevention-oriented intervention in warehouse fulfillment centers – a major growth industry with a low-wage and racially diverse workforce – that aims to change conditions of work to reduce the risks of poor mental health, improve workers’ well-being, and reduce levels of unreported injuries.

Project Lead: Erin Kelly, PhD
Project Co-Lead: Lisa Berkman, PhD

The Fulfillment Center Intervention Study focuses on workers in fulfillment centers in the e-commerce segment of the warehousing and storage industry. E-commerce fueled a 37% increase in industry employment from 2014 to 2017, with more than 20% growth expected in the next decade. These workers face a double burden of physically taxing and high-strain jobs (with high demand and limited control over their work conditions) that negatively impact mental and physical health, including injury-related disability.

The project includes the implementation and testing of a participatory workplace intervention that introduces “Health and Well-being Committees”. These committees will solicit and prioritize workers’ concerns regarding safety hazards and stressful work conditions, and implement action plans to address them, creating a new channel for worker input into the conditions of work.

We hypothesize that the intervention will:

  • improve mental health and positive psychological well-being;
  • reduce injuries; and
  • encourage injury reporting.

Additionally, a process analysis will explore key contextual factors that support effective implementation and sustained engagement with the intervention.

Because fulfillment center workers earn low wages and are disproportionately Black and Latino/a, our study aims to modify working conditions to promote the health of workers subject to systemic social inequities.

Project Timeline:  September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2025