Injuries on the job are no cause for celebration, and for online retailer Amazon, getting hurt on the job at the company’s Sacramento fulfillment center is among the highest in the U.S.
According to a story appearing on the Sacramento Bee website, in 2018, there were 385 reported at-work injuries at the facility, as confirmed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). During that time, more than half were required to take sick time off of work in order to recover, and 153 of those workers who were hurt at the Amazon facility were required to transfer jobs or work under certain restrictions.
What is believed to be contributing to the high injury rate at the Sacramento fulfillment center for the online retailer is the fast pace which workers are required to perform. During the holiday season, that pace only gets even more demanding as more consumers choose to use the online retailer’s Prime Service, which guarantees delivery of orders within two days.
Reveal News did an investigative report which found that workers were required to scan 300 items per hour – or a new item every eleven seconds to make the on-the-job quota that Amazon requires of its fulfillment center workers. Those workers who fall below that quota are written up. If a worker gets written up enough times, they are fired.
Amazon made a public statement regarding the high numbers claiming that no matter how minor an injury at work is, that injury is reported, so the comparisons being made to what happens in other workplaces and other industries compared to its own can be misleading.
Many part-time and seasonal workers at the Sacramento facility are not given paid time off or health insurance benefits, so being hurt on the job can be an even more distressing situation. Amazonians United Sacramento, whose membership is made up of those workers at the Sacramento facility, wants to change that.
The group has put out several petitions, including a public one that garnered more than 4,000 signatures, asking that the regional and facility managers at the facility meet with their group to discuss the worker’s rights of its employees. Because the majority of the workers at the facility have second jobs, have childcare and eldercare responsibilities, Amazonians United wants Amazon to live up to its obligations to the workers and their families.