Amazon employed 33% of all U.S. warehouse workers but accounted for 49% of all injuries in the industry, according to a report released Tuesday by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), a coalition of four unions.
SOC, which includes the International Union of Service Workers, the International Brotherhood of Drivers, the Communications Workers of America, and the United Farm Workers of America, analyzed 2021 injury data that Amazon submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor.
There were 38,334 reported injuries at Amazon locations in 2021, of which about 34,000 were considered serious injuries when workers were no longer able to perform their normal jobs or were forced to miss work as a result.
According to the report, Amazon reported 6.8 serious injuries for every 100 of its warehouse workers. By comparison, other warehouses reported 3.3 serious injuries for every 100 workers, the report said. Injury rates are calculated as cumulative rates at individual locations.
The new report, which notes that the injury rate in the company’s robotic warehouses remains higher than in non-robotic warehouses, notes a marked decrease in injuries in 2020 compared to the previous year. The report notes that Amazon temporarily made it easier to track performance in the early months of the pandemic as a possible contribution.
In a statement regarding the SOC report, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said the company has hired “tens of thousands of additional people to help us meet unexpected demand due to Covid-19.”
“Like other companies in the industry, we have seen an increase in reported injuries over this period from 2020 to 2021 as we have trained so many new people, however, when comparing 2021 and 2019, our reported injury rate has decreased by more than 13% by compared to last year. years,” said Nantel.
The SOC report shows that last year’s injury rate is the second highest in the company’s last five years, with 2019 recording the highest rate.
“While we still have a lot of work to do and we will not be satisfied until we achieve excellence in safety matters, we continue to make tangible improvements in reducing injuries and ensuring the safety of employees, and also value the work of all our employees and safety. teams that are contributing to these efforts,” said Nantel.