Amazon warehouse harm price final yr was greater than twice the speed of different warehouses, research finds

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Amazon employed 33% of all US warehouse staff in 2021, however was chargeable for 49% of all accidents within the trade, in response to a report printed Tuesday by the Strategic Organizing Heart (SOC), a coalition of 4 labor unions.

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The SOC, which is made up of Service Staff Worldwide Union, Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters, Communications Employees of America, and United Farmworkers of America, analyzed 2021 harm knowledge that Amazon submitted to the Labor Division’s Occupational Security and Well being Administration.

In 2021, there have been 38,334 complete recordable accidents at Amazon services, and amongst these, roughly 34,000 had been thought of critical accidents the place the employees might not carry out their common jobs or needed to miss work consequently.

In keeping with the report, Amazon reported 6.8 critical accidents for each 100 of its warehouse staff. By comparability, different warehouses reported 3.3 critical accidents for each 100 staff, the report mentioned. The harm charges are calculated as aggregates of charges at particular person areas.

The SOC report comes amid elevated consideration to the office situations inside Amazon’s services. Earlier this month, staff at an Amazon warehouse in New York Metropolis grew to become the first to unionize within the nation in its 27-year historical past. The union drive was catalyzed by tensions between Amazon and its warehouse staff throughout the unprecedented public well being disaster, the place some vocal staff and labor advocates expressed concern the corporate was prioritizing income and productiveness over security.
In the meantime, Amazon’s therapy of office security is below a microscope in its residence state of Washington, the place the Division of Labor and Industries final month issued a uncommon “willful extreme” quotation and a $60,000 advantageous to Amazon for knowingly placing its staff liable to critical accidents in violation of office security legal guidelines. Amazon has mentioned it strongly disagrees with the claims and plans to enchantment the quotation.
The newest SOC report follows a June 2021 report from the same group that examined related knowledge from 2017 to 2020 and in addition discovered Amazon warehouses to be extra harmful than different services.

The brand new report, which notes that harm charges stay increased on the firm’s robotic warehouses than its non-robotic warehouses, discovered a notable decline in accidents in 2020 in comparison with the yr prior. The report notes Amazon’s non permanent easing of productiveness monitoring within the earlier months of the pandemic as a potential contributor.

In a press release concerning the SOC report, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel mentioned the corporate has employed “tens of 1000’s of extra folks to assist us meet the unexpected demand from Covid-19.”

“Like different firms within the trade, we noticed a rise in recordable accidents throughout this time from 2020 to 2021 as we educated so many new folks — nevertheless, whenever you evaluate 2021 to 2019, our recordable harm price declined greater than 13% yr over yr,” mentioned Nantel.

The SOC report exhibits that the harm price final yr is the second-highest within the firm’s previous 5 years, with the yr 2019 recording the very best price.

“Whereas we nonetheless have extra work to do and will not be happy till we’re glorious on the subject of security, we proceed to make measurable enhancements in lowering accidents and preserving staff secure, and recognize the work from all of our staff and security groups who’re contributing to this effort,” mentioned Nantel.

A yr in the past, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos declared his need to make Amazon the “Earth’s Most secure Place to Work.” Amazon final yr announced it could spend $300 million on safety-related tasks, together with the rollout of an initiative referred to as WorkingWell to supply “bodily and psychological actions, wellness workout routines, and wholesome consuming help which are scientifically confirmed to assist them recharge and reenergize, and finally scale back the chance of harm.” WorkingWell, the corporate mentioned, would assist in direction of its aim of slashing recordable harm charges in half by 2025.
In the meantime, earlier this month, the Home Oversight Committee sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy demanding paperwork about firm labor practices after six staff had been killed in December whereas working at a distribution heart in Illinois struck by a twister. OSHA can be investigating the deaths on the facility and one of many households is suing the company.

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