UK: Rise in Amazon warehouse worker accidents prompts calls for parliamentary inquiry; Amazon downplays safety concerns

Author: Rob Davies, The Guardian, Published on: 18 February 2020

"Concerns over safety at Amazon warehouses as accident reports rise", 17 Febuary 2020

... [N]ew figures obtained by the GMB trade union under the Freedom of Information Act suggest safety at... more than 50 UK [Amazon] warehouses has not improved, and may be worsening.

Local authorities have received 622 accident reports involving Amazon warehouses over the past three years. The annual total has risen from 152 in 2016-17 to 230 the following year and 240 last year.

In one case, a self-employed contractor at a London warehouse lost consciousness and appeared to stop breathing following a head injury, having attempted to restart work. The accident investigation report found that... “the main root cause of this incident was failing to provide a safe working environment”...

Lisa Nandy... MP... called for an investigation into Amazon... Jack Dromey, MP... said..."...How can... Amazon justify refusing to talk to their workers’ union, the GMB, on safety? Their behaviour is disgraceful.”

The GMB said the escalation in the number of accidents and near-misses demonstrated the need for parliament to investigate the online retailer.

An Amazon spokesman said: “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... [W]e benchmark against UK national data... confirming we have over 40% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing businesses in the UK.”

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