Amazon describes workers as “industrial athletes” in leaked pamphlet

Amazon expects its workers to be “industrial athletes” according to a leaked pamphlet seen by Motherboard.

The pamphlet is part of the ecommerce giant’s ‘Working Well’ programme which aims to “prepare workers’ bodies” for walking up to 13 miles a day and lifting up to a total of 20,000 pounds per shift.”

“Here at Amazon, you will become an industrial athlete. Just like an athlete who trains for an event, industrial athletes need to prepare their bodies to be able to perform their best at work,” the pamphlet reads.

The leaked pamphlet dated back to 2020 and was from Tulsa, Oklahoma when the Working Well initiative was first trialled according to Vice.

The leaflet outlines six areas of interest to help prepare workers for their jobs in Amazon warehouses including: hydration, sleep, footwear, nutrition, ergonomic work behaviours as well injury prevention specialists.

The nutrition section urges its workers, or “industrial athletes”, to make sure they’re eating well as “fatigue is often a large factor in injuries”.

It includes nutritional tips such as eating whole grains, consuming between five-and-nine portions of fruit and vegetables a day as well as keeping sodium levels down and potassium levels up.

It also has a final section called “How Can I Feel Better” at the end which looks at stretching and getting massages.

READ MORE: 82% of UK Amazon delivery drivers forced to drive dangerously to hit targets

The programme and leaflet are all apart of Amazon’s increasing efforts to boost public perception around its working practices.

A report by the Strategic Organizing Center, a collection of workers unions, found that in 2020 Amazon workers were severely injured more than 24,000 times, which is twice the rate of the rest of the warehouse industry nationwide in the US.

Amazon are attempting to address this and other employee issues by deploying algorithms to understand which muscle groups are being over-worked and creating “AmaZen Booths” for stressed out workers.

While its official policy claims workers are able to take toilet breaks, it’s been reported in some cases that Amazon workers have resulted in urinating in bottles and defecating in bags due to the pace and volume of work.

The leaflet on the other hand claims that workers should carry a water bottle throughout the day and drink about two litres meanwhile monitoring using colour.

It also describes sleep as being “extremely important for injury prevention, healing, and overall health.” and encouraging workers to make sure they are getting enough of it.

Amazon also recommend workers buy shoes “at the end of the day when your feet are swollen to allow for plenty of room when they swell during work,” as well as recommending sports trainers that are qualified to provide help with body discomforts or injuries that come from work.

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