UNION

Amazon turn down health & safety review

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26 Nov 2018
Press Office

Press Office

Amazon have turned down a joint plea from GMB and a Shadow Minster for an independent health and safety review to reduce the 100s of ambulance call outs to the company’s warehouses,

The development came as GMB stages Black Friday protests across the UK in anger at the 'inhuman conditions' people work under at the warehouses.

A demonstration will take place at Amazon Rugeley from 5pm today at Tower business park, Power Station Rd, Rugeley, WS15 1LX

Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington and Shadow Minster for Work and Pensions, and Emma Reynolds, MP for Wolverhampton North East, wrote to Lesley Smith, Amazon’s Director Public Policy for UK and Ireland last week.

The health and safety record at Amazon’s Rugeley depot is truly shocking. Amazon is putting their workers at risk. We have urged the company to agree to a joint health and safety audit with GMB.

The union has agreed. We expect Amazon to do likewise, because no responsible employer should ignore evidence of serious failing putting their workers at risk. The fact that they are yet to reply over a week later is unacceptable.

Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington

They asked her to consider ‘a joint health and safety audit by Amazon and the GMB of the Rugeley depot to ensure working conditions are such as to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of your employees’. They also suggested a meeting between Amazon and the union, hosted by the MPs in Parliament, to discuss the issues.

The company has not replied.

GMB investigations revealed ambulances were called out to Amazon warehouses 600 times during the past three financial years and 602 reports have been made from Amazon warehouses to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

At Amazon’s Rugeley site, ambulances were called out 115 times during the past three years, including for electric shocks, bleeding, chest pains, major trauma, and pregnancy/maternity.

At a similar sized supermarket distribution warehouse a few miles away, there were just eight call outs during the same period.

We know Amazon has an appalling health and safety record –the hundreds of ambulance call outs and accident reports tell us that.

So why is Amazon so keen to avoid making things safer for their workers? Surely they can’t be happy seeing their employees taken away in ambulances, so why won’t they do something about it?

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer

 
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