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Injury Crisis at Amazon Fulfillment Centers

Robots inside Amazon warehouses

Amazon is under fire after a whistleblower handedinjury data to a journalism outlet that contradicts how serious the company takes employees safety. According to the data that was leaked, Amazon showed how many injuries occurred weekly from 2016-2019 across 150 Amazon warehouses also known as fulfillment centers. The injuries were considered serious when the employee had to take time off work and changes needed to be made to the job.

One of the main reasons behind the reported injuries was the extra strain on workers caused by the use of robots, cyber Monday and prime day. One employee stated that Prior to the robots, employees were expected to process 100 items per hour and after the robots came in, it went up to 400 items.

Despite Amazon trying to deny these allegations and after many contradictions the data shown was that the average rate of injury for those facilities with robots was 50% higher than those without them.

In an interview with Business Insider, Christy Hoffman, the general secretary of the international UNI global union said, “The stats prove what everybody knew — Amazon, quite literally, will break your back just to continue to push workers beyond what's humanly possible. This is just the latest example of why workers need unions to negotiate safer workplace rules.”

In response to the latest news here is the full statement Amazon released:

“We strongly refute the claims that we've misled anyone. At Amazon, we are known for obsessing over customers — but we also obsess about our employees and their safety. Reveal is misinformed and guided by a sense of activism rather than journalism. The reporter is misinterpreting data, and the very internal documents he claims to have obtained ultimately illustrate one thing — we have a deep focus on the safety of our teams.

“We look at a variety of metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of our safety programs, but Reveal is misinformed regarding an OSHA safety metric that measures days away and restricted or transferred work (known as a DART rate) as something the reporter mistakenly calls a serious incident rate. The reality is that there is no such OSHA or industry 'serious incident rate,' and our DART rate is actually supportive of employees as it encourages someone with any type of injury, for example a small strain or sprain, to stay away from work until they're better.

“While we often accommodate employees with restrictions so that they can continue to work with full pay and benefits, we don't believe an employer should be penalized when it encourages an associate to remain away from work if that will better promote their healing. As a company, while we constantly learn and improve from the past, we focus on inventing programs that create a safer work environment, and we provide comprehensive health benefits starting on day one of employment.

“We continue to see improvements in injury prevention and reduction through programs focused on improved ergonomics, delivering guided physical and wellness exercises, providing mechanical workstation assistance equipment, improving workstation setup and design, forklift telematics, and forklift guardrails to separate equipment from pedestrians — to name a few.”

If you are in this industry and have been injured or affected by Covid-19, call us today at 888-740-6434 or email Intakes@pacificworkers.com.

Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers is Northern California's Premier Workers' Compensation Applicant firm. We represent First Responders, Health Care Workers, Construction Workers, Retail Workers, Warehouse Workers, Delivery Drivers, and the other hard-working people that keep our community moving in their Fight for Justice against the Insurance Companies.

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