Injuries At Amazon Warehouses Spike

Amazon is the largest retailer in terms of revenue and its founder was named the wealthiest person in the world and “modern history” by Forbes magazine. But the large retailer has let things slip through the cracks by putting their workers at risk in its fulfillment warehouses. As the world’s most valuable retailer with customers served by over 140 fulfillment centers, we expect better from them.

An investigation reveals injury records from 23 Amazon fulfillment centers with an incident rate of 9.6 injuries per 100 full-time employees. Many of the injuries reported are minor bruises, cuts and sprains. However, OSHA shows that every reported injury led to over two months of missed work. Employees have long complained about the conditions at these facilities not being optimal.

Back in Thanksgiving and Christmas the injuries were worst. The speed of the workplace, adding to that the automation, is more than anyone could take. Workers are basically paying for the speed you get your items delivered to your doorstep. Unfortunately, injuries for Amazon fulfillment workers are more than triple the national average.  

In response to the recent news, Amazon says the number of injuries is misleading and they care about their employees. They believe in the environment they offer for fulfillment center workers and ensuring their safety is their top priority. Their safety training is constant, and they make sure new hires are trained accordingly by learning how to work with technology and how to prevent injuries.

But workers complain that it’s all about the money and how to get the products out quickly notwithstanding if someone gets hurt. They say their coworkers are injured and killed at Amazon warehouses, and not much is being done to make it safer.

Amazon’s popular speed and technological innovation has helped expand the company with a valuation over $800 billion making the giant retailer the second-largest private employer behind Walmart.  But their obsession with speed has turned their warehouses into injury mills, and it’s going to cost them. While some centers are below the industry average, others are very dangerous with an average of 422 injuries recorded annually.

Amazon needs to take a closer look at the facilities where workers have been hurt, improve the work processes, and replace management as needed. Serious injury rates that high should not be acceptable to any company.

It’s true that Amazon records every injury whether big or small, which may result in higher rates. But these new findings should be a reason of concern and sufficient motivation to do something about it.

WRITTEN BY

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