Illinois residents expect to stay safe at work. However, this isn’t always the case. It was recently discovered that injury rates among Amazon warehouse workers are high.
What’s happening with Amazon warehouse workers?
Although Amazon employees only comprise one-third of warehouse workers, a report has discovered that they have a high rate of injuries on the job. The report found that in 2021, 49% of employees in the warehouse industry who suffered on-the-job injuries were those working for Amazon. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also found that Amazon employees are twice as likely to suffer serious injuries than warehouse workers from other companies.
How serious are workers’ injuries?
The report on Amazon workers stresses the meaning of “serious injuries” as those that render an employee to require significant time off from work or working restricted jobs. Many Amazon warehouse employees who suffered injuries filed workers’ compensation claims, and overall, the victims had to take off an average of 62 days to recover. By comparison, warehouse workers employed at other companies took an average of 44 days off to recover from their injuries.
Amazon criticized for mistreating employees
More recently, Amazon warehouse workers have also attempted to unionize for their protection. However, the company mistreated its employees and even retaliated against them for those actions. One state’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the company for failing to protect employees and employer retaliation.
Although the number of injuries suffered among Amazon workers has decreased since 2020, the number of those injured since is still too high. The report also noted that employees who work in Amazon’s automated warehouses are at an even greater risk of suffering serious injuries. While Amazon claims it has the safest environment for its workers, this is not the case and the numbers speak otherwise.
Tragically, in December 2021, six Amazon employees in an Illinois Amazon distribution center died after being caught in a tornado. One employee’s family brought about a wrongful death suit. OSHA is investigating the deaths.