Amazon warehouse injury rate climbed 20% in 2021

FOX Business Flash top headlines for April 13

Here are your FOX Business Flash top headlines for April 13.

Amazon warehouse workers reported nearly 40,000 injuries on the job last year, up 20% from 2020, according to a new report. 

In total, there were 38,334 recordable injuries, which are defined as cases that require medical treatment beyond first aid or time off, according to the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC)'s report. For its findings, the SOC, a democratic coalition of four labor unions, analyzed injury data that the e-commerce giant submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

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By comparison, there were 27,697 total injuries reported at Amazon facilitates in 2020 and 21,258 injuries reported in 2019, according to the data.  

The union also said that the serious injury rate at Amazon warehouses in 2021 was "more than twice as high as the rate at non-Amazon warehouses." 

An employee prepares a package for shipment at the Amazon logistics centre in Suelzetal, eastern Germany, on Mai 12, 2021. (Ronny Hartmann/AFP / Getty Images)

For example, the injury rate at Amazon warehouses in 2021 was 6.8 per 100 workers. In non-Amazon warehouses, the injury rate was 3.3 per 100 workers. 

"While Amazon employed 33 percent of all U.S. warehouse workers in 2021, the company was responsible for a staggering 49% of all injuries in the industry last year," the report read. 

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Amazon acknowledged that there was an "increase in recordable injuries during this time from 2020 to 2021 as we trained so many new people." 

"We hired tens of thousands of additional people to help us meet the unforeseen demand from COVID-19 and people turning to Amazon to help them safely get products and supplies during the pandemic," Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel told FOX Business. 

An employee prepares a package for shipment at the Amazon logistics centre in Suelzetal near Magdeburg, eastern Germany, on Mai 12, 2021. ( Ronny Hartmann/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

However, Nantel said that if the SOC did "even a cursory review of all the OSHA data" it would have noticed Amazon’s recordable injury rate declined by more than 13% from 2019 to 2021. 

Meanwhile, "three other large retailers saw their rates increase by an average of more than 50%." 

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Nantel says the company still has work to do and will "continue to make measurable improvements in reducing injuries and keeping employees safe." 

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