Safety in the Workplace: Amazon Under Fire for Exposing Warehouse Employees to Unnecessary Risks
Amazon has created more than 130,000 jobs in the last year and currently employs over half a million people around the world. Ensuring the safety of their employees claims to be a top priority, but the company has recently been criticized for its failure to examine safety hazards that have caused unnecessary injury-and even death-on the job.
In April 2018, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health listed Amazon as one of the most dangerous places to work in the United States, citing lack of concern for the health and safety of its employees, failure to report injuries and unsafe working conditions.
While investigating accidents in the workplace, it was uncovered that Amazon’s culture supports apathy when dealing with work-related injury complaints. Numerous employees reported suffering from work-related injuries that have left them without income, or even homeless.
Many Amazon employees reported feeling pressure from upper management to have injuries treated by an on-site medical professional or attributing the injury to a pre-existing condition, therefore, not counting the injury on OSHA reports.
Amazon warehouse employees have consistently complained that the company has failed to comply with their own workers’ compensation regulations. Amazon defends this claim by stating that employees working in fulfillment centers should expect to stand, walk, lift and bend, despite associated risks.
Complaints from Amazon Employees Have Developed into Lawsuits and Fines
An unsettling number of employees have filed personal injury lawsuits against Amazon because of injuries sustained at work. In general, the claims filed in these lawsuits have stated:
- Negligence on behalf of Amazon by not protecting employees from potentially hazardous situations.
- Wrongful termination related to disability or injury incurred while on the job.
- Failure to deliver and complete workers’ compensation paperwork.
- Exposing employees to ergonomic risk factors resulting in injury.
Employees who have suffered injuries while working at Amazon’s fulfillment centers have also experienced expensive medical bills linked to their injuries, and face many other harmful repercussions of unemployment. Despite numerous lawsuits and fines, Amazon claims their performance and employment expectations are well within reason.