It is estimated that over 600 Amazon workers in the UK have been seriously injured or escaped serious harm in the past three years in warehouses, prompting calls for an inquiry into the situation. In response to the allegations, Amazon is currently running a publicity campaign highlighting that it is a safe place to work. Workplace injuries not only lower productivity and cost unnecessary expenses; they also lead to low morale, affecting the physical and mental well-being of employees.
GMB Report Indicates Rising Injuries
According to GMB statistics, there were 240 serious injury reports last year, bringing the total to 622 during a three-year period. For an injury to be counted, a worker must have injuries that prevent them from performing their duties for at least seven days. Those who experienced fractures, amputation, scalping, burning or crashing are also included in the report.
One of the reported incidents took place in a London warehouse where a worker injured their head and lost consciousness, while an employee in Manchester was caught in a gate and fractured their hand. A report covering an incident in 2015 concluded that a lack of concentration due to long working hours was the reason that a forklift driver reversed into a steel structure. An incident like this would require a lawyer for forklift accidents to ensure that the rights of the workers are represented by someone who specialises in the area. Overall, it is the duty of the employer to provide a safe and healthy work environment free from hazards and dangers; once an injury or accident occurs, every worker must ensure that their rights are represented.
Parliamentary Inquiry Of Safety At UK Warehouses
Due to the spike in reported injuries, GMB union workers are urging a parliamentary investigation into the rising figures. Lisa Nandy, the MP for Wigan, called for an investigation saying: “The warehouse injuries suffered by Amazon workers are beyond appalling. I stand ready, if and when Amazon’s workers take strike action and protest, I will be there with them.”
When contacted for a reply, a spokesman for Amazon 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. Our doors are open to the public, to politicians, and indeed to anyone who truly wants to see the modern, innovate and, most importantly, safe environment we provide to our people.” To date, the company has been running TV commercials using warehouse staff to project a happy working environment.
Workplace injuries and accidents are serious concerns affecting both workers and employers. In the case of Amazon, figures presented by the GMB Union are treated as a false representation, and the company is campaigning through media channels about what it’s like to work for the retail giant.