Amazon opened one of its largest urban delivery centers in Staten Island, N.Y., last fall, but the center employs more than 3,000 workers than other manufacturing plants,media reported. New York warehouse JFK8 opened in September 2018 with a staggering lying injury rate, according to a report released Monday by Gizmodo.
Gizmodo cites the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) score of 15.2 for the warehouse, officially known as THE OSHA accident rate, based on the number of injuries and illnesses that occur within the working hours of all employees. JFK8’s score is significantly higher than the national average for sawmills and steel foundry in 2018.
The injury itself appears to be largely minor and most are thought to be sprains or bruises. But Gizmodo points out that injuries must meet a relatively high severity threshold before they can be formally reported to OSHA. This means that the injury must result in death, loss of working day, loss of consciousness, fracture or any injury requiring third-party medical assistance. Workers suffer from severe cuts, sprains and other injuries that are high, but they continue to work to increase their working hours, which are never recorded in the official OSHA report.
Gizmodo cites reports of serious injuries and injuries for many employees. This includes serious long-term injuries associated with wrist and back pain, which must be treated by workers. Coupled with long working hours, few bathrooms and lunch breaks, and the continuing need to meet Amazon’s efficiency quotas, working conditions at the Staunton Island warehouse seem tough. Similarly, it is not clear whether the same is true of other warehouses.
Gizmodo reported that JFK8 workers planned to protest the working conditions at the delivery center at a later date. Amazon said in a statement that its warehouse was misleadingly unsafe based on the number of injuries due to the large number of employees:
This does not accurately state that Amazon’s delivery center sits unsafe, and given the large number of employees, it is misleading to rate our workplace based solely on the number of injuries recorded. We believe in the good environment we provide for our delivery center staff, including our safety culture – we offer public visits and anyone can personally visit one of our sites. Ensuring the safety of our employees in our buildings is our number one priority, and we have invested heavily in safety. Operational meetings, new employee orientation, process training, and new process development all start with security and are integrated into security metrics and audits in each program. Safety training is ongoing to ensure that employees know how best to use the technology in the plant and how to prevent injuries. Across the industry, the level of under-recording of security incidents is very high – we became aware of this in 2016 and began to take a positive attitude to record injuries, large and small.