Amazon employed 33% of all warehouse workers in the United States in 2021, but was responsible for 49% of all injuries in the industry, according to a report published Tuesday by the Strategic Organization Center (SOC), a coalition of four labor unions.
SOC, which consists of the Service Personnel International, the International Brothers of Team Members, Communication Workers of America, and United Agriculture Workers of America, It analyzed 2021 injury data that Amazon submitted to the Department of Labor’s Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health.
In 2021, there were 38,334 recordable injuries at Amazon facilities, and of those, nearly 34,000 were considered serious injuries where workers could no longer perform their normal jobs or had to be absent from work as a result.
According to the report, Amazon has reported 6.8 serious infections for every 100 of its warehouse workers. By comparison, other warehouses recorded 3.3 severe injuries per 100 workers, according to the report. Incidence rates are calculated as groups of rates at individual sites.
The new report, which notes that infection rates are still higher in the company’s robotic warehouses than in its non-robotic warehouses, finds a significant decrease in injuries in 2020 compared to the previous year. The report cites Amazon’s temporary facility to track productivity in the early months of the pandemic as a potential contributor.
In a statement regarding the SOC report, Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said the company has hired “tens of thousands of additional people to help us meet unexpected demand from Covid-19.”
“Like other companies in the industry, we have seen an increase in recordable injuries during this time from 2020 to 2021 as we trained many new people – however, when comparing between 2021 and 2019, our recordable injury rate is down more than 13% annually. Nantel said.
The SOC report shows that last year’s infection rate was the second highest in the company’s past five years, with 2019 the highest.
“While we still have more work to do and we will not be satisfied until we are excellent when it comes to safety, we continue to make measurable improvements in reducing injuries and keeping employees safe, and we value the work that all our employees do and our safety teams that contribute In this effort,” Nantel said.