Advocacy group reveals a safety crisis inside Amazon’s warehouses
The report is based on a series of internal safety reports from over 150 of Amazon warehouses.
Amazon shoppers love Prime Day and the many great deals during those days. While it’s a massive opportunity for Prime members, it’s an overload of work for Amazon warehouse employees. Unfortunately, the long working hours during this period and the massive work overload comes with another price for the warehouse workers.
According to a report from the Center for Investigative Reporting, the rate of injuries in Amazon warehouses is significantly higher than the country average. In 2019, there were 7.7 serious injuries per 100 warehouse workers. Compared to 2016, that’s a staggering increase of 33%. The injury rate regularly spikes during the holiday season, when the workload and the working hours are at its peak.
The report is based on a series of internal safety reports from over 150 of Amazon warehouses. Furthermore, it also revealed that managers were aware of all that but decided to hide it from the public eye.
The report also revealed that warehouse workers that are part of robotic fulfillment centers need to pick 400 items every hour. On the other hand, warehouse workers in other fulfillment centers pick 100 items every hour.
Kathleen Fagan, a physician at OSHA that inspected some of the robotic fulfillment centers and said that employees working in these centers were at constant risk of an injury. First of all, this was because robots work fast and workers need to keep up with them. Then there was the strain from repeated exertions and bending during the many long shifts.
According to Amazon warehouse workers, they have been actively discouraged from reporting their injuries, and when they need medical assistance to seek it out elsewhere. These practices have been ongoing for quite some time.
In the past, Amazon warehouses workers organized a series of protests to express their displeasure of the overall working conditions. Indeed, Amazon opposed all of those accusations and refused to take the blame for any of it. They even fired some of the protestors to stop the strikes and discourage other warehouse employees from protesting.
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