‘Hundreds’ injured at Amazon UK’s ‘hellish’ warehousesFebruary 24, 2020
An Amazon spokesperson says the company offers a safe place to work – adding its doors are open to politicians and the public.
Hundreds of people have been seriously injured at Amazon’s UK warehouses over the last three years, new figures suggest.
In one incident, a worker at a London warehouse was knocked unconscious and stopped breathing after injuring their head, according to data compiled by the GMB union.
An accident investigation report found “the main root cause of this incident was failing to provide a safe working environment”.
Another worker at Bardon Hill, in Leicestershire, suffered internal bruising after being knocked down and wedged under a heavy goods vehicle.
In Manchester, a worker received head injuries after a number of boxes fell on them, and they were later diagnosed with an inter vertebral disc prolapse.
The figures show that 240 reports of serious injury or near misses were sent to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the 2019 financial year.
Over the last three years, there were 622 serious injuries or near misses – although only a handful are believed to be near misses.
The injuries included in the figures were serious enough to stop someone performing their normal duties for at least seven days, or be on a list including fractures, amputation, scalping or burning.
The number of incidents has increased since 2017, when there were 152 reports to the HSE, however the number of Amazon warehouses has more than doubled in this time.
GMB national officer Mick Rix said: “Amazon are spending millions on PR campaigns trying to persuade people its warehouses are great places to work.
“But the facts are there for all to see – things are getting worse.
“Hundreds of stricken Amazon workers are needing urgent medical attention. Conditions are hellish.”
Mr Rix called for a parliamentary inquiry, adding: “Enough is enough.”
Labour MP Jack Dromey, who represents Birmingham Erdington, accused Amazon of behaving “like a 19th century millowner”.
He added: “In my 30 years in the world of work I cannot remember any company clock up so many injuries to its workers.
“I have been inside the giant Rugeley depot and heard first hand from frightened workers of the 77 serious incidents in Rugeley alone.”
A spokesperson 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.”