Even as Amazon spends tens of millions on new robotics and technologies to automate its warehouses, workers are still paying the price with more than 14,000 serious injuries — requiring days off or job restrictions — reported in fulfillment centers in 2019, according to a report from Reveal. TechCrunch reports: Overall, the company saw 7.7 serious injuries per 100 employees, a number that’s 33% higher than it was four years ago and double the most recent industry standard, despite significant investments and claims that safety is improving at its facilities, the report said. A document dump from the Center for Investigative Reporting given to Reveal, internal safety reports and weekly injury numbers from Amazon’s network of national fulfillment centers shows that Amazon has misled the public about its safety record. And that the company’s biggest shopping days — during Prime week and the long holiday season — are the most dangerous for its workers.
In a statement, Amazon called Reveal’s report “misinformed” and quibbled over the terminology, while claiming that “we continue to see improvements in injury prevention and reduction” through a variety of programs, though documents in the report suggest otherwise. Bulletins sent out every month reveal a grim tally of injuries and safety problems, problems that the company was well aware of. Updates marked “Privileged & Confidential” and reportedly obtained by Reveal indicate that the company has failed to hit safety targets. Despite its intentions to reduce injury rates by 20% in 2018, rates rose. In 2019, when the company decided to try and lower its injury rates by a more modest 5%, the number of injuries still went up.
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