Did You Sustain an Injury While Working at Amazon?
Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the United States, as only Walmart employs more people. Amazon employees have helped to make owner Jeff Bezos one of the wealthiest people on the planet, but not without consequences for some of them. According to reports, a review of the company’s internal records shows an alarming rate of workplace injuries in Amazon warehouses. The warehouses are a marvel of technology and systemic efficiency, with finely-tuned processes and robotics that allow Amazon warehouses to ship out millions of products - sometimes, on a daily basis. However, these processes also require speed from the workers, many of whom must meet quotas each hour, or their jobs may be in jeopardy. Even though the workers are trained on how to physically perform their jobs in a safe manner, the speed required of the workers makes them less precise than they are intended to be. Interviews with workers indicate that they often are forced to twist, bend, and lift in unnatural ways to make their quotas. Some workers reported debilitating back injuries, ankle injuries, shoulder injuries, and more.
An Unacceptable Injury Rate
Records show that the average injury rate for Amazon warehouses in 2018 was 9.6 injuries per 100 workers, while the average for the entire industry is 4 injuries per 100 workers. Having more than double the industry rate is unacceptable, and the technological systems might be largely to blame. For example, when the robots were introduced at a California warehouse in 2015, the injury rate was 2.9 per 100. In 2018, after three years of working with the new robot-driven system, the injury rate for that warehouse had increased to an astounding 11.2 per 100.Amazon claims that it is thorough when it comes to injury reports, which is why its records are higher than other companies that might not be as diligent. However, some workers claim that they have two choices:
- Slow down, be more careful, and risk failing to meet a quota, which puts their job on the line
- Meet their quotas even if it requires putting their bodies at risk of injury, which also puts their job on the line if they cannot continue to work in that position due to an injury
This is only one example of how some workplace environments and company cultures can increase the risk of injured workers. If you suffered injuries at work, you should know about your rights to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can be essential to protect your finances, your health, and your job.
Discuss Your Workplace Injuries with a Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorney
The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton is dedicated to protecting the rights of workers in all types of industries and who work for all types of companies. We take on workers’ comp cases against even the largest employers around, and we have the resources and experience to help you. Contact us if you suffered injuries on the job to learn about your rights.