Leaked internal Amazon data obtained by Reveal News that documents injury rates in the company’s warehouses reportedly shows that the company has publicly downplayed how dangerous its warehouses are for workers and that injuries have increased since the introduction of robots to Jeff Bezos’ facilities.
Business Insider reports that a recent study from Reveal News appears to show that Amazon has downplayed the number of injuries at its warehouses, specifically failing to acknowledge the increase in injury numbers at its robotic warehouses. An Amazon whistleblower reportedly gave injury data from Amazon’s U.S. warehouses to Reveal, the Center of Investigative Journalism’s news outlet.
The data purports to document the number of injuries per week across 150 Amazon warehouses in the United States from 2016 to 2019. Reveal News states that Amazon defines a “serious injury” as one that requires time off work or changes to the employee’s job. The data shows that Amazon recorded 14,000 serious injuries across 150 U.S. warehouses in 2019. This is 33 percent higher than the company’s injury rate in 2016 and nearly twice the industry standard.
Injury rates per 100 works increased each year since 2016 according to the report. The data also appears to show that injury rates were higher on average in warehouses that had robots operating in them and that injuries spiked during the busy peak season ahead of Christmas and Amazon’s shopping events such as Prime Day and Cyber Monday.
The report appears to show that the average rate of injury was 50 percent higher in warehouses with robots between 2016 and 2019. An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that the company rejects any claims that it misled the public and that Reveal’s metrics for what counted as a “serious injury” massively skewed its interpretation of the data.
Christy Hoffman, the general secretary of the international UNI Global Union, told Business Insider: “The stats prove what everybody knew — Amazon, quite literally, will break your back just to continue to push workers beyond what’s humanly possible. This is just the latest example of why workers need unions to negotiate safer workplace rules.”
Read the full report from Reveal here.