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GMB Union demands Amazon inquiry following 600 injuries in the past 3 years

The GMB has said, in an article published yesterday, that it's time for a Parliamentary inquiry into Amazon's working conditions following reports of 600 serious injuries or near misses in the past three years. In a statement Amazon sent to SHD Logistics in response to the article, the technology company says it has 40% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing businesses in the UK.

The figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by GMB to local authorities across the UK.

According to the GMB, the information shows that between 2016/17 and 2018/19 a total of 622 reports have been made from Amazon warehouses to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – with the number rising each year.

Amazon gave SHD Logistics the following statement in reponse to the article from GMB:

“Amazon is a safe place to work. Yet again, our critics seem determined to paint a false picture of what it’s like to work for Amazon. They repeat the same sensationalised allegations time and time again.

“Our doors are open to the public, to politicians, and indeed to anyone who truly wants to see the modern, innovative and, most importantly, safe environment we provide to our people. The fact is we benchmark against UK national data, published by the Health & Safety Executive, confirming we have over 40% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing businesses in the UK.”

Examples of injuries reported to HSE from Amazon warehouses include:

  • A worker at a London warehouse was knocked unconscious and stopped breathing following a head injury. The accident investigation report found that 'the main root cause of this incident was failing to provide a safe working environment.'
  • In Manchester, an Amazon Worker fractured their hand after their fingers got caught in between the station sliding gate and the surrounding gate support

Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, told GMB:

“In my 30 years in the world of work I cannot remember any company clock up so many injuries to its workers. I have been inside the giant Rugeley depot and heard first hand from frightened workers of the 77 serious incidents in Rugeley alone.

“Amazon purports to be a 21st century company. It behaves like a 19th century millowner. Amazon owner, the American billionaire, Jeff Bezos, should be called to account by Parliament for his actions.

“How can he or Amazon justify refusing to talk to their workers’ union, the GMB, on safety? Their behaviour is disgraceful.” 

SHD Logistics has asked HSE for comment.

 

TAGS: Retail News
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