Warehouse Robots Increase Injury Rates for Amazon Workers

The use of Amazon robots in their warehouses resulted in more injuries among workers. This is stated in a study published by Reveal.

In their investigation, the journalists relied on data from internal documents over the past four years. It deals with injuries to employees from 150 warehouses of the company. Reveal found a trend that the number of severe injuries among Amazon employees increased by 50% in those warehouses where robots are involved. However, this does not happen in manual warehouses.

Amazon noted that the figures improved due to changes in the company’s internal reports. Four years ago, they began to record even minor incidents. However, in their materials, journalists accused the Internet giant of “distortions that the company does not notice in order to hide the growing security crisis.”

The company, however, denied this. “The journalist misinterprets the data, and those very internal documents illustrate one thing – we pay great attention to the safety of our employees,” – noted in Amazon.

Amazon first introduced robots to its warehouses in 2012. But workers interviewing Reveal noted that warehouses have also improved performance – the expected number of items they handled increased from 100 to 400 per hour. This led to an increase in injuries and overtime.

For example, the company in 2019 recorded 14 thousand injuries requiring days off or work restrictions. The overall injury rate was nearly double the industry average. Several warehouses reported five times more injuries than the industry average.

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