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Amazon warehouse injury rate last year was more than twice the rate of other warehouses, study finds

Amazon warehouse injury rate last year was more than twice the rate of other warehouses, study finds

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 SOC report comes amid growing interest in workplace conditions within Amazon’s facilities. Earlier this month, employees at an Amazon warehouse in New York City became the first to join unions in the country in its 27-year history. The union campaign has been fueled by tensions between Amazon and warehouse workers during an unprecedented public health crisis, with some concerned workers and labor advocates expressing concern that the company is prioritizing profits and productivity over safety.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s treatment of workplace safety is under a microscope in its home state, Washington, where the Department of Labor and Industries last month issued a rare “willful” citation and a $60,000 fine to Amazon for intentionally endangering its workers. Injuries that violate workplace safety laws. Amazon said it strongly disagrees with the allegations and plans to appeal the citation.
The latest SOC report comes on the heels of the June 2021 report from the same group I examined similar data from 2017 to 2020 and also found that Amazon warehouses are more dangerous than other facilities.

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.

A year ago, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced his desire to make Amazon “the safest workplace on Earth.” Amazon announced last year that it would spend $300 million on safety-related projects, including launching an initiative called WorkingWell to provide “physical and mental activities, wellness exercises, and support for healthy eating that are scientifically proven to help them recharge and re-energize, and ultimately reduce injury risk.” The company said the good work. It will help achieve its goal To halve recordable infection rates by 2025.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Gacy requesting documents about the company’s labor practices after six employees were killed in December while working at a hurricane-hit Illinois distribution center. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating deaths at the facility and one family has filed a lawsuit against the company.

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