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Report Claims Increase In Staff Injuries In Amazon Warehouses With Robots

Report Claims Increase In Staff Injuries In Amazon Warehouses With Robots
A recent investigation has revealed that the number of injuries to human employees at Amazon’s warehouses has increased since the company has started using robots.
The report is based on internal records for 150 warehouses over four years that had been acquired by it, said the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The report said that the number of serious injuries were 50 per cent more in those warehouses that have robots compared to those that did not referring to the Amazon "fulfilment centre" as being the warehouses.
Since it encouraged the reporting of even minor incidents, therefore its number of injuries reported was also high, Amazon said.
The report from journalist Will Evans was published on the centre's own news website.
The report accuses the e-commerce giant of "bald misrepresentations the company has deployed to hide its growing safety crisis". It further claimed that Amazon officials had "profoundly misled the public and lawmakers" over its safety record.
“We strongly refute the claims that we've misled anyone. The reporter is misinterpreting data, and the very internal documents he claims to have obtained ultimately illustrate one thing - we have a deep focus on the safety of our teams," the company however said.
Since acquiring a robotics manufacturer in 2012, robots were first introduced robots into Amazon’s warehouses.
But with the robots now ferrying items through the warehouse, the workers have been confined ot their workstations where the simply stand still and do recitative and  monotonous tasks, said workers speaking to Reveal.
Additionally, the levels of efficiency of robots are also significantly more than human workers which meant that there has also been an increase in the productivity expectations from the human workers of the company. For example, the report claimed, pickers at warehouses have found out that the company now expects them to handle 400 items an hour instead of 100 previously.
The report quotes internal company documents that show that the injury rates in warehouses with robots were about 50 per cent higher than those without.
The report claims that the overall rate of injury at Amazon warehouses was almost double the industry standard last year with about 14,000 "serious" injuries that required the injured employees to take days off or ask for job restrictions.
Five times as many injuries as the industry average were also reported by a few warehouses. This is measured in serious injuries per 100 workers.
The injury rate that has been used in the report is that from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration and it was not a metric for "serious injury", Amazon said.
The company said that since it "encourages someone with any type of injury, for example a small strain or sprain, to stay away from work until they're better", therefore its "Dart" rate - "days away, restricted or transferred"- was higher.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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