Amazon has recently joined the ranks of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NCOSH) “dirty dozen” list of the most dangerous workplaces in America. NCOSH released a report regarding the hazardous conditions at Amazon’s warehouses throughout the country. There is concern over what appears to be a pattern of preventable deaths. Seven Amazon employees have died on the job since 2013. It is believed that workers are put in danger because of the constant demand to quickly fill orders and the fear of disciplinary actions if they do not meet demands.
Placing Efficiency and Productivity Over Safety
To be competitive, large companies often push efficiency and productivity at the risk of the safety of their employees. And employees are paying for it with their lives and health.
Amazon insists that its employees are not working in dangerous conditions. The company claims that they are committed to maintaining a safe work environment and provide safety training for their employees. However, employees are still getting seriously injured and are becoming forced to return to work before properly healing. Even worse, many are forced out of their jobs.
Adding to the problems with a safe workplace is that some employees are temporary employees that have been contracted through a third-party agency. OSHA has cited agencies for serious violations related to their negligence in not conducting proper hazard assessments of Amazon facilities before sending workers to warehouses.
Injured Workers Have Rights
All companies, including Amazon, are responsible for maintaining a safe workplace for their employees. A worker who is injured on the job is entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers should not be subjected to retaliatory actions or harassment from their employers for seeking medical care or workers’ compensation. However, some employers, like Amazon have resorted to dirty tricks to prevent workers from reporting injuries, getting medical treatment, or filing claims. It has been reported that Amazon has forced workers back to work early and has used coercion tactics to have employees say injuries are from pre-existing conditions to avoid having to report to OSHA. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help injured workers deal with the shady tactics that some employers use to force workers back to work early.