In California and across the nation, warehouse work can be a risky endeavor. Workers are tasked with repetitive movements, are often required to bend and lift, must operate heavy machinery, and trust other workers to adhere to proper safety protocol. It goes without saying that the employer is required to follow the law when it comes to keeping workers safe. That includes reporting injuries as they occur and keeping track of how often they happen. Unfortunately, some companies fail in their responsibilities. Such is the alleged case with one of the biggest companies in the world, Amazon. This can be important when workers are hurt and seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Amazon alleged to have underreported warehouse injuries
A recent report says that Amazon has been experiencing a spike in workplace injuries in its warehouses. This has occurred despite the company’s assertion that it invested substantial resources into safety improvements. According to the investigation, the number of injuries at these warehouses has been incrementally rising since 2016. This is based on the company’s internal safety information. Amazon has denied the claims and says it is aboveboard in its injury reporting. The company stops short of denying that there has been an increase in injuries.
There were approximately 14,000 serious injuries at the company’s warehouses. That comes to nearly eight such injuries for every 100 workers. This is twice the industry standard. Underreporting is also a concern. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated Amazon’s workplace injuries and discovered that many workers were told not to report what happened, nor to get treatment from an outside source. Strategies the company was said to have implemented include stopping workers from taking time off because of injuries so they would not be calculated in the injury rates. Automated workplaces and especially busy times like Prime Day and holidays also raised injury numbers.
Injured workers must understand their rights
It is important for workers to understand how employers might try to downplay injuries, encourage workers to ignore their issues and either continue working or not report what happened to them so they will not seek workers’ compensation benefits. Workers have rights and that includes medical care, wages and more if they suffer a workplace injury. If a person has been hurt, needs workers’ compensation benefits and is meeting resistance from the employer or the insurer, it is imperative to have legal advice to get these benefits. A firm with experience in these cases may be able to help.