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Two new investigations find that some Amazon warehouses have injury rates as high as triple the industry average (AMZN)

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Two new investigations find that some Amazon warehouses have injury rates as high as triple the industry average (AMZN)

Category : entrepreneur

  • Amazon’s self-reported figures show injury rates three times the industry average at its warehouse in Staten Island, New York, according to documents viewed by Gizmodo.
  • A separate investigation from Reveal and The Atlantic found that some Amazon warehouses had serious injury rates more than twice the industry average.
  • Both reports include accounts from employees detailing a wide range of unsafe working conditions.
  • Amazon takes issue with both investigations, and says that the number of injury reports don’t accurately reflect the working conditions at its warehouses.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

Amazon is facing renewed scrutiny over working conditions at its warehouses following two new reports published Monday.

In one report, Gizmodo analyzed injury reports that Amazon had submitted as required by law to OSHA, a federal workplace safety agency. According to Gizmodo, by Amazon’s own count, injury rates at its Staten Island, New York, facility were more than three times the industry average.

Gizmodo also found that the injuries were often apparently severe, with Amazon workers missing an average of 64 days per injury.

“It’s inaccurate to say that Amazon fulfillment centers are unsafe and efforts to paint our workplace as such based solely on a snapshot of injury recordings is misleading given the size of our workforce,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider on the Gizmodo report. You can read the full statement below.

In a separate investigation published by Reveal and The Atlantic, injury reports obtained from 23 of Amazon’s 110 warehouses nationwide showed that the rates of serious injuries at those locations were more than twice the industry average.

“Reveal is on to something and it’s something OSHA has been talking about for years: there’s a dramatic level of under-recording of safety incidents across the industry – we recognized this in 2016 and began to take an aggressive stance on recording injuries no matter how big or small,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider on the Reveal investigation. You can read the full statement below.

The Reveal investigation also included several workers’ accounts of their time working at the company, including an incident during a gas leak at a warehouse in California, where Amazon management allegedly refused to stop operations — even after a 911 dispatcher instructed workers to evacuate the building — telling workers to use personal time if they wanted to leave.

In its statement, Amazon called this accounting of events “inaccurate.” The company said that it ceased operations for around 1.5 hours, and that employees were moved to a break room away from the gas leak. Amazon told Business Insider that employees were still paid while operations were paused, and that requests to leave the site were handled on a case-by-case basis.

This isn’t the first time Amazon has come under fire for working conditions in its warehouses, as reporting from Business Insider has detailed on multiple occasions.

These latest reports come as Amazon is gearing up for a busy holiday season that will likely mean increased pressure on workers to help the company keep up with demand.

Amazon’s statement on the Gizmodo investigation, per a spokesperson:

“It’s inaccurate to say that Amazon fulfillment centers are unsafe and efforts to paint our workplace as such based solely on a snapshot of injury recordings is misleading given the size of our workforce. We believe so strongly in the environment that we offer for fulfillment center employees, including our safety culture, that we offer public tours where anyone can come for themselves one of our sites firsthand. Ensuring the safety of associates in our building is our number one priority and we invest heavily in safety. Operational meetings, new hire orientation, process training and new process development begin with safety and have safety metrics and audits integrated within each program. Safety training is constant, both in making sure employees know how best to work with the technology in the facility and also how to prevent injuries. There’s a dramatic level of under-recording of safety incidents across the industry – we recognized this in 2016 and began to take an aggressive stance on recording injuries no matter how big or small which can result in elevated recordable rates and makes comparisons difficult.”

Amazon’s statement on the Reveal/Atlantic investigation, per a spokesperson:

“Reveal is on to something and it’s something OSHA has been talking about for years: there’s a dramatic level of under-recording of safety incidents across the industry – we recognized this in 2016 and began to take an aggressive stance on recording injuries no matter how big or small. We believe so strongly in the environment that we offer for fulfillment center employees, including our safety culture, that we offer public tours where anyone can come for themselves one of our sites firsthand. Come see for yourself the focus on safety we have in our buildings.”  

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About Author

Sammy Singh

Global VC, Founder, and entrepreneur extraordinaire as featured in Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Sammy Singh is a graduate of UCLA and Wharton School of Business as well as a former student of Loyola University of Chicago. Sammy is best known as a renowned financial technology global entrepreneur and has founded over 26 different firms across industry and all over the world. He is a venture capitalist,a TV/ Film actor, tax specialist, and marketing solutions strategist. Connect with Sammy Singh on social media below! www.linkedin.com/in/cfo www.instagram.com/champagnegqpapi www.facebook.com/officialsammysingh www.twitter.com/cxosynergy www.medium.com/@sammysingh www.crunchbase.com/sammysingh

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