Amazon has received a lot of press regarding allegedly unfair, unsafe working conditions and practices, mainly at their fulfillment centers. Workers’ Compensation statistics from the online retailer may back up employees’ concerns.
Amazon’s injury rate in 2019 was 5.6 per 100 workers. This is disconcerting, particularly since Amazon continues to increase its workforce due to increasing consumer desire for fast ecommerce options. However, Amazon has announced plans to cut workplace injuries by half by 2025. The company has made it clear that it will more comprehensively deploy their WorkingWell program.
What is Amazon’s WorkingWell Program?
The WorkingWell program is intended to reduce and prevent worker injuries across Amazon’s workplaces. Specifically, WorkingWell strives to limit the number of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among its employees, as well as other common illnesses and injuries.
MSDs frequently occur under conditions where employees consistently make repetitive motions, such as lifting, carrying, and putting down boxes and packages. According to figures, roughly 40 percent of all worker injuries that have been reported at Amazon are linked to MSDs. Consequently, Amazon is working with experts in the field of MSD injuries and their prevention to flesh out its WorkingWell programming.
Supporting Evidence for the WorkingWell Program
Although WorkingWell is gaining more press and traction, it is not a brand new initiative for the internationally recognized company. Amazon launched WorkingWell on a smaller scale in 2019 to test its efficacy. Between 2019 and 2020, Amazon’s reported MSD worker injury rate dropped by 32 percent.
To date, about 859,000 workers in Europe and the U.S. have experienced the WorkingWell safety management system. To increase the spread of WorkingWell, Amazon is earmarking millions toward getting the program in more of its warehouses and centers. The company says that around 1,000 of its locations will benefit from WorkingWell in 2021 alone.
Is Cutting Worker Injuries by Half Doable?
Amazon has built its reputation on making bold choices. As a result, WorkingWell’s goal of a 50 percent reduction in worker injuries and related illnesses within a few years may seem like a stretch. However, figures from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) support Amazon’s objectives. Research from the OSHA posits that aggressive, thoughtful safety programming on the job may result in up to 52 percent fewer injuries.
What are Some Ways Amazon’s WorkingWell Prevents MSDs?
Although Amazon has not released all the details about its WorkingWell specifics, it has been open about a few of the primary protocols. Workers will be asked to take short breaks on a regular basis to stretch and move. Data suggests these brief respites from repetitive activities can ward off muscle fatigue and refocus worker concentration.
Additionally, Amazon has said that it will make interactive kiosks available to workers. The kiosks will have wellness videos and information available on-demand for real-time education.
It should be mentioned that Amazon’s expected output rate for workers is not likely to decrease as part of WorkingWell. The fast pace of working life at Amazon has been a source of legal problems for the company, particularly in recent years.
What Should I Do if I Get Injured at Work?
Even with aggressive programs like WorkingWell, workers can get hurt while performing their duties. When they do, they should seek medical attention and alert their employer. They also will have to fill out an injury report to begin a Workers’ Compensation claim. If the claim is denied, they may want to seek the help of a lawyer during the appeals process.
Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Injured Employees Understand Their Rights
Amazon has a new plan to reduce injuries among workers. Even with safety precautions, work accidents still happen. If you need help after a work accident, speak to a Delaware County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello. Call us at (610) 892-4940 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester, Pennsylvania.