Report finds Amazon injury rate above warehouse standard

Amazon reported serious injuries at nearly double the rate of other warehouses between 2017 and 2020, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), a coalition of labor unions, analyzed data released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and found that there were 5.9 serious injuries per 100 Amazon workers over the course of 2020, compared to 3.3 serious injuries per 100 workers at other warehouses.

Serious injuries are those that require workers either taking time off or being moved onto lighter tasks.

“Amazon’s abysmal health and safety record is not an accident,” the report argues. “Rather, it is the predictable outcome of a company that prioritizes growth and profits over the health and safety of its employees.”

The company has been on a hiring spree in recent years and is now the second-largest private employer in the U.S., with nearly 1.3 million workers worldwide. In 2020, Amazon reported 24,505 serious injuries among its average annual workforce of 581,624.

The injuries at Amazon warehouses forced employees off work for an average of 46.3 days in 2020, longer than the industry standard.

The serious injuries per 100 workers ratio at Amazon warehouses grew from 6.5 in 2017 to 6.9 in 2018 and 7.8 in 2019, the peak year. By comparison, those ratios were 2.9, 3.1 and 3.1 per 100 workers the same years at non-Amazon warehouses, according to data shared with The Hill.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told The Hill that the company has made investments into health and safety teams, but she did not dispute the veracity of the injury data shared by the SOC.