‘Shameful’ figures reveal more than a thousand serious injuries at Amazon sites have been reported to health and safety bodies since 2016, a GMB investigation has found.
Disturbingly, the number of injuries reported to health and safety bodies is rapidly increasing.
294 were reported in the financial year 2020/21 – up from 231 the year before, or an increase of 27%. This compared to 139 reports in 2016/17. [Contact GMB Press Office for full breakdown]
The true figure could be much higher, with not all local authorities having responded to the FOI survey.
Amazon sites with the most reported injuries over the last 5 years include Coalville (95), Dunfermline (93), and Manchester Sunbank Lane (87). Central Bedfordshire had the most reports of any local authority, with 135 reports of serious injuries.
Local authority inspection reports obtained by GMB reveal multiple areas of concern, including: injuries to workers, unsafe working conditions, Covid-19 concerns, and poor health and safety record keeping or a lack of compliance with inspectors. [Contact GMB Press Office for examples]
Separate new figures obtained by the union show that more than a thousand ambulance callouts were also made over the same period – and that callouts rose by 56% during the pandemic (between 2019/20 and 2020/21).
Despite Amazon’s claim that ‘the vast majority of ambulance call outs to our buildings are related to pre-existing conditions,’ ambulance trusts reported multiple callouts for falls, traumatic injuries, and cases of Covid-19.
At one ambulance trust in Yorkshire, specific traumatic injuries accounted for one in ten callouts.
Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said:
“More than a thousand serious injuries at Amazon sites is a shameful statistic and one that the company must address urgently – and the true picture is probably worse.
“GMB investigations have now built up years’ worth of evidence and there can be no denying Amazon warehouse are currently dangerous, dehumanising places to work.
“We will be writing to the Health and Safety Executive to set out our findings - it is time for a proper external audit and investigation of working conditions at this highly profitable company.
“It’s time Amazon stopped burying its head in the sand, met with GMB and worked out how to make Amazon a great, safe place to work.”