Employees pay the price when productivity trumps safety at work
Employers can hold workers to strict standards. Many will set goals, enforce workplace policies and dictate acceptable behaviors with the intention of maximizing productivity and profits.
However, some go too far in these pursuits and ultimately endanger the lives and safety of workers.
A big problem at a big company
A recent report on injuries at Amazon warehouses reveals what can happen when companies put profit over people. The report found that for every 100 workers, 5.9 experienced an injury that resulted in lost time or modified duty.
This number is 80 percent higher than the number of injuries reported at other warehouses, including Walmart and other competitors.
Claims of unsafe work conditions have long plagued Amazon. And for years, it has topped lists of the most dangerous places to work.
Several tools, still no fix
In response to these findings, spokespeople from Amazon maintain that they offer a wide range of options with worker safety in mind. The company reportedly provides:
- Ergonomic programs
- Guided exercises
- Mechanical assistance equipment
- Nutrition and mental health guidance
However, despite the myriad programs it offers, the company continues to see high numbers of injured workers. Part of this stems from the fact that the business continues to enforce aggressive productivity quotas. To meet these numbers, workers may not take the time to protect themselves and observe safe practices.
Without a more comprehensive approach to making Amazon warehouses safer places to work, workers will likely continue to face threats to their safety.
This situation can serve as a reminder that employers who do not make workplace safety a top priority are endangering employees. When job-related accidents happen, workers should know what legal rights they have and what compensation they may be eligible to collect. Workers remain eligible for worker’s compensation benefit, no matter how long they have worked for an employer or experience and understanding of a particular job.