Fatal Amazon Warehouse Accident Sparks Employee Safety Concerns
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers explain workers’ rights
Six Amazon employees recently died in a warehouse accident, sparking renewed concerns about workplace safety at Amazon facilities and prompting federal legislators to question whether the company makes safety a priority, according to CNBC News.
“We are writing to express our grave concern regarding Amazon’s anti-worker policies that prioritize profits over worker safety, and appear to have contributed to the tragic deaths of six workers,” said a recent letter sent to Amazon and signed by lawmakers.
Such concerns come as no surprise to many workplace accident attorneys who handle workers’ compensation claims on behalf of injured workers.
How the fatal Amazon warehouse accident happened
The recent Amazon warehouse accident happened at a distribution facility in Edwardsville, Illinois. A tornado with maximum wind speeds of 150 mph tore through the 1.1-million-square-foot warehouse. The severe storm caused the warehouse to collapse, killing six Amazon employees, including several Amazon drivers who sought refuge in the building.
The fatal warehouse accident is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additional investigations have been launched by other state and local agencies as well. This is because the state wants “to make sure all of the code was followed in the building and to find out exactly what occurred,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in an interview with CNBC.
Workplace accidents common at Amazon
Workplace accidents occur at an alarming rate at Amazon warehouses. Between 2017 and 2020, nearly twice as many “serious incidents” in Amazon warehouses compared to non-Amazon warehouses caused severe injuries, according to an in-depth investigation last year conducted by Microsoft News (MSN.com) and The Washington Post.
In 2020, the difference between injuries at Amazon warehouses and non-Amazon facilities was particularly stark. That year, 4 warehouse workers for every 100 full-time workers got hurt at non-Amazon warehouses. In contrast, the injury rate at Amazon warehouses was 62.5 percent higher – 6.5 injuries for every 100 full-time workers, according to CBS News.
Overall, 2.8 injuries occur for every 100 full-time workers in all workplace settings, according to CBS News.
Common causes of warehouse accidents
Warehouse accidents often occur due to the recklessness or unsafe conditions in the warehouse. Examples include:
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents, often due to unmarked hazards on the floor.
- Forklift accidents caused by reckless forklift drivers.
- Falling objects striking warehouse workers.
- Warehouse workers falling off a ladder or from a height.
- Being attacked or assaulted by a co-worker.
- Motor vehicle accidents on loading docks.
Is this how your warehouse accident happened? Or are you dealing with a different situation? Whatever the circumstances of your injury, make sure you fully understand your rights and the legal options available to you.
How a lawyer can help you
You might think you don’t need an attorney if you were hurt on the job at a warehouse. But many warehouse injury claims turn out to be complicated legal cases for many different reasons. First and foremost, your employer’s insurance might try to claim you got hurt outside of work or search for another excuse to deny your claim.
You deserve to be fairly compensated for all your injury-related expenses. That’s the law. And such expenses – including medical bills and replacement income – are covered by workers’ compensation.
Our dedicated, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorneys at Vellner Law, PC can be there for you when you need us most. We thoroughly understand how the workers’ compensation system works in Pennsylvania. Our knowledge comes from our years of work handling such complex cases on behalf of sick or injured workers.
Discover what we can do for you. Contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation with a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyer you can count on. We have offices conveniently located in Bethlehem and Allentown and serve injury victims throughout Pennsylvania.