Since 2014, Amazon has touted the effectivity and protection benefits of its new computerized fulfillment centers the place robots assist people in processing packages. But it turns out automation might also be doing a ways more harm to the company’s employees than Amazon has led the public and lawmakers to believe. In a new report, the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal booklet observed that between 2016 and 2019, the rate at which Amazon employees sustained serious injuries used to be 50 percent higher at warehouses where the organisation has robots that at ones the place it does not.
Those facilities have amongst the best possible prices of worker injuries of any of Amazon’s warehouses. Last year, for instance, a success middle south of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters known as BFI3 had a price of 22 serious injuries for each and every a hundred workers. As Reveal factors out, that’s a clip it truly is five times higher than the modern-day enterprise preferred and more than even Amazon’s average.
What makes accidents more likely to happen at Amazon’s computerized warehouses is that the employer has unrealistic expectations of the human personnel that work there. Where employees known as pickers beforehand had to scan about 100 gadgets each and every hour, Amazon now expects them to scan up to four hundred merchandise in the identical amount of time. Those personnel can not maintain with the robots except hurting themselves.
What’s more, Reveal found Amazon has either been slow or proven no interest in listening to federal regulators when it comes to the issue. In 2015, the Occupational Saftey and Health Administration (OSHA) outlined policies Amazon may want to enforce to maintain employees secure at a robotic warehouse in New Jersey. For example, one recommendation used to be that the organization rotates employees between one-of-a-kind jobs at some stage in their shift to avoid repetitive stress injuries. Reveal found that Amazon has but to enforce those measures throughout its warehouses.
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When asked about its computerized warehouses, a spokesperson for Amazon advised Reveal, “the use of robotics, automation and technological know-how in our success facilities is enhancing our workplace, making jobs safer and greater efficient.” We’ve reached out to Amazon for additional comments. We’ll update this article when we hear back.
The record additionally discovered that injuries are extra common at the company’s warehouses at some stage in the excursion purchasing season and during its Prime Day event. In all, Reveal says in 2019 Amazon recorded 14,000 serious injuries at across a hundred and fifty achievement centers, with damage costs growing year-over-year.