business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Seattle Times has an extensive story about how "Amazon is facing workplace safety investigations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Washington’s Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Justice. Earlier this year, after roughly six months of inspections, OSHA determined Amazon failed to keep its workers safe. It pointed to, among other things, the weight of items handled by workers, awkward motions like twisting, bending and lifting, and long hours."

Here's a passage from the story:

"CEO Andy Jassy told shareholders last year Amazon had created a list of 100 'pain points' to solve. It had to work quickly to adjust to its explosive growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a spike in demand for online orders, he said. Amazon’s injury rate is not worse than its peers, Jassy argued, it is just 'misunderstood.'

"That sentiment contradicted an analysis of injury data Amazon had submitted to OSHA that found Amazon accounted for nearly half of all injuries in the warehouse industry and that its warehouses had a higher rate of injury than non-Amazon facilities. The analysis — from the Strategic Organizing Center, a coalition of labor unions — found the rate of injury at Amazon warehouses went up 20% in 2021. 

"The serious injury rate at Amazon warehouses in 2021 was 6.8 per 100 workers, compared to a rate of 3.3 per 100 at other non-Amazon warehouses, according to the study. For workers who were seriously injured, Amazon employees needed an average of 19 more days to recover than workers at other non-Amazon warehouses."

You can read the entire story here.