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Amazon under fire again for putting workers at risk

| Dec 17, 2019 | Workplace Injuries

In a past blog post, we discussed how the risk of work injuries spikes significantly in Amazon warehouses during busy retail seasons, such as Amazon’s Prime Day or the recent Black Friday sale event.

The holiday shopping season is certainly a factor that could increase the risk of employees suffering serious injuries on the job. However, it seems that Amazon employees are suffering a high rate of injuries year-round.

A new report finds warehouse injuries are alarmingly high 

Two different investigations of the injury reports from Amazon warehouses across the country found troubling issues:

  • The rate of injuries at Amazon warehouses is between double or triple the industry average, depending on the location of the warehouse. A report found that there are roughly 15 to 26 injuries per 100 workers in each warehouse annually. The general industry average is 3.2 injuries per 100 workers;
  • Most of these injuries resulted in employees missing an average of 64 days of work; and
  • Many employees reported unsafe working conditions in many different warehouses.

Amazon denies that these findings mean their warehouses are unsafe. They state that the company reports workplace injuries more than others in the industry. They believe that is the reason their injury rates seem higher.

Regardless, the investigation’s findings should be concerning for all.

Workers’ safety should always be a priority

Working in industrial warehouses is a physically demanding job. Workers often face risks of injuries including, but not limited to:

  • Severe muscle strains from overexertion when lifting or moving heavy objects;
  • Back and spinal cord injuries from tripping over products or slipping down stairs;
  • Injuries from forklift accidents; and
  • Injuries from falling objects.

Even if a worker is aware of the dangers of a particular workplace, should they be injured while working, they remain eligible to collect workers’ compensation for these injuries (Maryland Code, Labor and Employment § 9-507).

However, the risks involved in this line of work means that there should be an even greater emphasis on worker safety. This is especially true since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that workers have a right to “a safe and healthful workplace.”

Warehouse workers, whether they work at Amazon or not, must take great care on the job. They should ensure their safety is a priority in their workplace. This is a key factor in reducing the chance of injuries.

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