Amazon Develops Safety Plan Designed To Reduce Warehouse Worker Injuries
A Pennsylvania workers’ comp lawyer explains
Amazon recently announced that the company has developed an ambitious plan designed to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses several months after the multi-national company received criticism for the high number of serious injuries sustained by its warehouse employees, according to a recent article published by EHS Today.
The workplace health and wellness safety plan created addresses a wide range of preventative measures targeting work-related injuries and illnesses.
Along with focusing on reducing the number of work-related injuries, Amazon’s WorkingWell plan focuses on improving the physical health and mental well-being of the company’s warehouse employees.
Keeping employees safe and healthy should also save the company money since injured workers can seek workers’ compensation benefits from the employer's insurer to cover the cost of reasonable and necessary medical treatment, as well as a portion of lost wages.
Key takeaways from the safety plan
Three of the plan’s main components include:
- Mind & Body Moments – Each hour, employees receive visual prompts for 30 to 60 seconds designed to reduce muscle fatigue, mental strain and reenergize workers. Such activities may include breathing exercises, stretching, or spending a minute in self-reflection.
- Health & Safety Huddles – Team leaders guide employees through safety training-related topics each month often using interactive videos focusing on a wide range of topics, including lifting techniques, stretching exercises, and proper nutrition.
- AmaZen – Private phone booth-like kiosks set up in Amazon warehouses provide space for employees to take a break and practice mindfulness exercises, including guided meditations and view calming scenes and sounds.
Amazon has more than 175 warehouses (also known as fulfillment centers) worldwide, including warehouses in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and several near Allentown in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania.
Amazon warehouse injury statistics
Serious injuries sustained by Amazon employees who work in their warehouse facilities were nearly twice as high as the injury rate for non-Amazon warehouse employees nationwide between 2017 and 2020, according to accident data compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) during those four years.
“They have unrealistic expectations,” former Amazon warehouse employee Bobby Gosvener said in an interview earlier this year with The Washington Post and MSN.
“The pace of work, and the amount of twisting and turning, is enormous,” said former OSHA chief of staff Debbie Berkowitz, who now works at the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy organization. “There is a constant pressure to work fast.”
Amazon isn’t the only company with a serious problem involving workplace injuries. In 2019, a total of 2.8 million work-related accidents resulted in 888,200 injuries and 5,333 deaths nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That year’s workplace fatality figures marked a 12-year high since 2007 when there were 5,657 workplace fatalities nationwide.
Legal help is available for injured workers
If you sustain an injury on the job, you might think all you have to do is apply for workers’ compensation benefits to get them. Unfortunately, navigating the system can be confusing, and a lot of workers miss out on the benefits they're entitled to.
Sometimes, insurance companies deny applications for benefits, claiming that the injury occurred outside of work or that it’s a pre-existing medical condition.
That’s why it’s important to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to learn your legal rights and options.
At Vellner Law, P.C., our attorneys know how to handle complicated cases. That’s because we have years of experience representing injured workers in the Lehigh Valley and throughout Pennsylvania.
When you have our law firm on your side, we will fight for the benefits you deserve. Whether you’re applying for benefits or appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim, we will aggressively advocate for your best interests and leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the best possible outcome of your case.
Learn more about how we can help you and contact us today to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney. We have two offices conveniently located in Bethlehem and Allentown.