Amazon slammed by GMB for ‘shameful’ number of injuries

Over a thousand serious injuries at Amazon UK sites have been reported to health and safety bodies since 2016, according to trade union GMB.

The trade union revealed that 294 injuries were reported in the 2020/21 financial year, a rise from the 231 being reported a in the same period a year earlier.

This compares to 139 injuries being reported in the financial year 2016/2017.

Amazon’s site in Coalville had the highest number of injuries, reporting 95 over the last five years. Its Dunfermline site reported 93 and Manchester Sunbank Lane, 87, respectively.

READ MORE: Amazon issues pre-Christmas delivery warning

However, Central Bedfordshire had 135 injuries, the most of any local authority.

Local authority inspection reports obtained by GMB reveal multiple areas of concern, which includes “unsafe” working environments, Covid-19 cases, poor health and safety records being kept and a lack of compliance.

“More than a thousand serious injuries at Amazon sites is a shameful statistic and one that the company must address urgently – and the true picture is probably worse,” GMB national officer Mick Rix said.

“Our investigations have now built up years’ worth of evidence and there can be no denying Amazon warehouse are currently dangerous, dehumanising places to work.”

Rix added:  “We will be writing to the Health and Safety Executive to set out our findings – it is time for a proper external audit and investigation of working conditions at this highly profitable company.”

“It’s time Amazon stopped burying its head in the sand, met with GMB and worked out how to make Amazon a great, safe place to work.”

GMB also revealed in a separate report thousands of ambulance calls were made in the same period. These calls included Covid-19 concerns, falls and traumatic injuries.

This number increased by 56% during the Covid-19 pandemic.

An Amazon spokesperson told Charged: “Once again, our critics are using incomplete information that’s without context and designed to intentionally mislead. We know we’re not perfect and are continuing to get better every day, but the fact is that Amazon has 40% fewer injuries on average compared to other transportation and warehousing businesses in the UK.

“The vast majority of ambulance call outs to our buildings are related to pre-existing conditions, not work-related incidents, and as a responsible employer we will always call an ambulance if someone requires medical attention. Rather than arguing with critics who aren’t interested in facts or progress, we’re going to keep listening to our 55,000 employees, taking their feedback, and working hard to keep investing and improving for the long run.”

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