Amazon Prime Day produces 209 percent increase in UK health and safety complaints


Amazon Prime Day produces 209 percent increase in UK health and safety complaints

Steve James

24 August 2018

Intense workloads during online conglomerate Amazon’s Prime Day last month resulted in a 209 percent increase in health and safety complaints from the company’s British workforce.

According to the Wired website, campaign group Organise, which collates email complaints, reported Amazon workers wrote in complaining of stomach cramps, sprains, backache, musculoskeletal injuries and swollen feet.

Prime Day saw strikes at Amazon warehouses in Germany and Spain and a work to rule in Poland.

One worker in Britain reported, “It was worst in picking—we were picking items and sending them to customers faster than fast. In my opinion targets are not touchable any more. We have to break rules about health and safety to meet them.”

She continued, “Almost all employees have problems with productivity and back pain.”

Figures released earlier this year show that in three years, 600 health emergencies required paramedics and ambulance attendance at Amazon’s 14 UK-based distribution centres. In over half, the patient was taken to hospital. The statistics were compiled by the GMB trade union, based on Freedom of Information requests submitted to local health authorities.

Amazon employs around 27,000 workers in the UK. Of these, two thirds work in its logistics and distribution operation. Globally, the company employs 563,100 as of April this year, up from 541,900 last year.

Of the 600 or so British emergency cases, according to figures provided by the West Midlands Ambulance Trust, 115 took place at the company’s depot in Rugely, Staffordshire. The Rugely emergency callouts included: 14 cases of breathing problems; 24 cases of chest pain; another 18 of cardiac pain;…

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