IN DENIAL: Amazon’s Continuing Failure to Fix Its Injury Crisis
While Amazon has enjoyed meteoric growth over the past few years, the company has failed to make meaningful progress in terms of worker safety, according to a new report from the Strategic Organizing Center. Despite CEO Andy Jassy describing warehouse worker safety as the company’s “priority number one,” injuries experienced by Amazon warehouse workers continue to be both more frequent and more severe than those affecting workers at other warehouse companies, an analysis of data provided by the company to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shows.
The SOC analysis found that Amazon’s operations continue to be dramatically more dangerous for workers than the rest of the warehouse industry. In 2022, Amazon’s injury rate was 70 percent higher than the rate at non-Amazon warehouses, and its serious injury rate–6.6 per 100 workers—was more than double the rate at non-Amazon warehouses (3.2 per 100). Workers at Amazon facilities sustained nearly 39,000 injuries in 2022. And while Amazon employed 36 percent of all U.S. warehouse workers in 2022, the company was responsible for more than half (53 percent) of all serious injuries in the industry.
“For a corporation that prides itself on moving quickly and decisively informed by sophisticated data analysis, Amazon’s ongoing failure to provide safe working conditions raises major questions about whether the company’s management is serious about becoming ‘earth’s safest place to work,’ or whether it continues to put profits before the safety of the very people responsible for its success,” the report states.
Amazon’s dramatic corporate growth – from 2017 to 2022, it added more than 800 new facilities and more than 500,000 workers to its e-commerce and logistics operations – demonstrates the company’s ability to act quickly on a large scale when it wants to. But the failure to make meaningful progress on worker safety makes it clear the retailer has failed to prioritize the needs of its own workers. The SOC analysis reveals that even in the face of increasing public scrutiny, Amazon continues to push a dangerous pace of work and extensive monitoring policies that result in high rates of injury.