In recent years, Amazon has come under fire for allowing tough working conditions at the company’s warehouses. First, reports surfaced that employees had to pee in soda bottles to meet production goals. Then, workplace safety reports revealed that injury rates are higher at Amazon fulfillment centers than at other warehouses. Even adding more robots in Amazon warehouses increased the injury rates of workers.
Reducing repetitive stress injuries for workers
Company founder and current CEO Jeff Bezos recently admitted that the company needs to do better for its workers. He stressed in a letter to Amazon shareholders he wants big safety upgrades for company employees. He wants to see a further decline of Amazon employees suffering repetitive stress injuries. He noted that Amazon introduced an employee safety program in 2019 that led to a 32% decrease in musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders are common in warehouse jobs, which require employees to make repetitive movements.
Part of Bezos plan to reduce employees suffering repetitive stress injuries is to use rotational schedules. Amazon will rotate employees among specific tasks to avoid having workers overuse specific muscle groups.
Bezos’ letter stressing employee safety comes after employees failed to unionize an Alabama fulfillment center and concerns about worker safety have led to strikes at some Amazon warehouse centers.
Common repetitive stress injuries for warehouse workers
Some of the most common repetitive stress injuries warehouse workers suffer include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome, affecting the main nerve in the wrist
- DeQuervain’s syndrome, affecting the tendon in your wrist near your thumb
- Neck and back pain
- Shoulder pain
Warehouse employees who suffer a repetitive stress injury because of their job duties are eligible to receive workers’ compensation.
Working in a warehouse does come with injury risks. Even with Amazon’s efforts to reduce repetitive stress injuries among its employees, you could still suffer one while on the job. You shouldn’t hesitate in reporting your injury to your workplace or seeking treatment for it. Then you can get the workers’ compensation benefits you need to treat your injury and focus on your recovery.