The Injury Machine? Workplace Accidents at Amazon Warehouses
Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world and the second-largest employer in the country. Unfortunately, it also leads the field in a less favorable category: warehouse injuries.
Amazon workers suffer serious injuries at over twice the rate of other warehouse employees, according to a report by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC). While Amazon employs one-third of all the warehouse workers in the U.S., it is responsible for nearly half of all warehouse injuries.
Why Are Amazon Worker Injuries So Common?
For five years in a row, the Amazon warehouse injury rate has significantly surpassed the national average. Why? The SOC, a labor union coalition, blames the company’s fast-paced, high-pressure environment. In fact, the group found Amazon’s workplace practices so dangerous that they titled their report “The Injury Machine.”
According to the SOC, Amazon demands an unsafe degree of speed and productivity from its workers. To ensure company goals are met, Amazon utilizes intense workplace monitoring and disciplinary systems to keep employees on track. And when they are hurt, nearly 40% of injured Amazon workers feel pressured by management to return to work before they are ready.
What Kind of Amazon Warehouse Injuries Happen?
From sprained ankles to major spinal damage, injuries occur every day at warehouses across the world. They just tend to happen more often at Amazon. While serious injuries at Amazon occur at twice the rate of other warehouses, musculoskeletal disorders occur four times more frequently.
Amazon warehouse accidents and worker injuries can include the following:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Crush injuries from equipment or falling objects
- Accidents caused by fatigue, overexertion, and long hours
- Delivery truck crashes
- Musculoskeletal disorders from lifting, twisting, bending, and reaching
- Forklift accidents
- Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) such as carpal tunnel syndrome
Are Amazon Warehouses that Dangerous?
Not only do Amazon injuries occur more often, but the overwhelming majority tend to be serious. The SOC report shows that 90% of workers hurt at Amazon facilities in 2021 were unable to perform their regular job functions or had to miss work entirely. The average recovery time for Amazon warehouse injuries was 62 days, compared with 44 days at non-Amazon facilities.
Agencies in multiple states have cited Amazon for violating safety regulations over the years. In 2022, however, Amazon received a citation for “willfully” disregarding safety standards–the most serious type of infraction that regulators can issue. According to the SOC, inspectors determined that Amazon’s pace of work is so high that it alone constitutes a separate violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Can I Receive Compensation for My Amazon Warehouse Injuries?
If you or a loved one has suffered an Amazon warehouse injury, you may feel you have few options. The experienced Boston attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP are here to help. We will work to get you the financial compensation you deserve–whether that means assisting you with your workers’ comp claim or pursuing other legal remedies.
Altman & Altman LLP will carefully evaluate your Amazon injury case and decide the best way to move forward. With over 50 years of experience fighting for work accident victims, we believe employers should not put profits over safety. So contact us today for a free consultation on your Amazon worker injury claim.