Working for Amazon sounds like a fantastic job on paper – you get to work behind the scenes at one of the biggest online retailers in the world. But the latest labor news from Jeff Bezos’ multinational tech giant portrays the company as anything but a dream workplace.
Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that Amazon failed to provide its workers at its fulfillment center in Castleton, NY, with proper medical treatment. According to the government agency, ten employees – six with head injuries, four with back injuries – didn’t receive timely and critical medical care. Amazon also asked the employees to return to work promptly, and OSHA found that the untreated workers’ conditions worsened in some cases.
The dangers of working in warehouses and fulfillment centers
How dangerous is the warehousing industry? OSHA found that the fatal injury rate for the sector is higher than the national average for all industries.
Some of the more common causes of workplace injuries in warehouses include:
- Slips and falls
- Falling objects
- Overexertion from lifting heavy objects
- Lack of personal protective equipment
- Reckless use of equipment such as forklifts
Safety standards at warehouses
Because warehouse operators are responsible for the health of their staff, OSHA has laid out several safety standards for them to meet:
- Fall protection for elevated platforms
- First-aid personnel and supplies on hand
- Exit routes for emergencies
- An established fire prevention and safety plan, with sprinklers and extinguishers throughout the facility
- Hazard communication to inform workers of any potential hazardous materials onsite
Whether they’re Amazon employees or workers in a similar warehouse setting, people should know that their employer is responsible for their safety. Not meeting these standards and refusing to supply aid to an injured employee are grounds for negligence. In these cases, injured employees should consider approaching an attorney to take legal steps in securing compensation for their medical treatments if their employer refuses to help.