14,000 “serious injuries” reported at Amazon fulfilment centres last year marking 33% rise

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Amazon workers suffered more than 14,000 serious injuries last year as the ecommerce giant’s investments in automation and safety fail protect its employees.

A new damning report published by Reveal from the Centre of Investigative Reporting found that for every 100 employees Amazon staff experienced 7.7 serious injuries, double the most recent industry standard.

It also represented a 33 per cent rise in injuries compared to four years earlier, despite Amazon investing tens of millions into new automated technologies designed to improve safety measures.

The wide-ranging report from Reveal examined internal safety reports and weekly injury numbers from 150 Amazon fulfilment centres.

READ MORE: Amazon shareholders demand more data on worker safety after 8 confirmed COVID-19 deaths

According to the investigation, Amazon’s injury rates have been steadily increasing since 2016, and appear to spike during “peak” shopping events like its upcoming Prime Day.

Furthermore, despite its heavy investment in robotics in an effort to reduce injuries, Reveal found that workers at heavily automated facilities were expected to pick up and scan around 400 items per hour compared to the 100 items per hour at other facilities, leading to higher injury rates.

Reports obtained by Reveal marked “Privileged & Confidential” revealed that Amazon intended to reduce injuries by 20 per cent in 2018 and just five per cent last year, but saw them rise both years instead.

Amazon refuted many of Reveal’s claims, including it characterisation of “serious injuries” stating that the term can refer to a “small strain or sprain”.

It added that it continued “to see improvements in injury prevention and reduction”.

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