As a second Amazon fulfillment center opens in Columbia County, the company touts the new jobs it will bring to the area. Residents who decide to take a job at one of these facilities should be aware of the safety risk of this type of role.
Review the common hazards associated with working in an Amazon warehouse along with steps to take if you experience a work-related injury.
Reviewing the numbers
In April 2021, the union coalition the Strategic Organizing Center reviewed Amazon injury data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from 2017 through 2020. The researchers found that the e-commerce giant has an injury rate 80% higher than the industry average and that workers suffered more severe injuries at Amazon than at other employers based on time away from work.
Understanding the causes
The SOC cited Amazon’s “obsession with speed” as the main source of its astronomical injury rate. Requiring workers to meet high hourly quotas for stowing, packing and moving items results in many acute and repetitive musculoskeletal injuries. While the company introduced robots to assist human workers in some warehouses, data found that these facilities actually have a higher risk of injuries as employees struggle to meet the pace set by their electronic counterparts. Special Amazon “holidays” such as Prime Day further drive the need to meet quotas at all costs.
Georgia employees can file for workers’ compensation benefits after injury in a workplace accident. Tell your supervisor right away when this type of accident occurs and document the incident and all subsequent medical care in writing.