Amazon is a common household name. The company employs in excess of 1.6 million people across the United States. Some Amazon employees work full-time, others part-time, and still others are seasonal workers. Regardless of their employment status, hundreds of Amazon workers are injured annually.
Amazon Working Conditions
Employees both past and present have been vocal about their working conditions. Over a recent three-year period, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH) has included Amazon in their annual “Dirty Dozen ” Employers for their record regarding employee safety and health. The most recent report merely listed Amazon in the “dishonorable mention” category, an improvement over the prior two years where they were one of the worst 12.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Amazon Employment
Amazon employs more than 40,000 people across Texas. Many of these employees work in the 17 fulfillment and sorting centers. Unfortunately, there is also another poorly understood fact: Amazon is a non-subscriber to Texas Workers’ Compensation, which means you do not file a typical workers’ compensation claim, but instead rely on the liability policy carried by Amazon. This also means that an employee may sue Amazon for an injury sustained on the job and Amazon cannot blame the injured worker or a co-worker for causing the injury or assert other common defenses to the suit.
Employees who have suffered injuries on-the-job have reported numerous issues with filing claims including denial of benefits, being fired from their jobs, and being forced to return to work by the company-approved physician before physically able to.
Typical Employee Injuries at Amazon
Working in a warehouse can pose certain hazards. One of the most common types of injury suffered by workers in Amazon warehouses is the incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD). These include:
- Back pain — may be caused from frequent bending, standing in one position too long, or lifting heavy items.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome — this condition is often a result of repeating the same task over and over.
- Muscle sprains or strains — the pain caused by a sprain or strain can be excruciating. These types of injuries are commonly caused by attempting to lift heavy objects or by stretching to reach objects which are stored overhead.
- Hernias — hernias can occur when proper procedures are not followed for lifting heavy objects. They often require surgery to repair.
Amazon is determined to keep their prices low in order to encourage customers to continue buying products from them. However, some of the cost-reduction methods used have shown that employees in warehouses suffer as a result of these goals. MSDs can be reduced with proper training in ergonomic techniques associated with warehouse work.
Holding Amazon Accountable for Workplace Injuries
Across the United States, Amazon has been accused of driving up the insurance rates of other companies. This is because of the unprecedented number of injuries the company sees on an annual basis. Amazon warehouse employees file more insurance claims than other warehouse workers in similar-sized companies. Many believe this is because of the productivity expectations set by the company.
Employees who are injured while working in an Amazon facility have the right to seek compensation for the medical bills they incur because of their jobs. They also have the right to file a claim to ensure their family is not facing financial ruin because they are unable to work because of their injury. Workers should not have to face financial ruin because their jobs force them to remain out of work for an extended period of time recovering from an injury.
Amazon does maintain a liability policy to protect workers, but numerous reports have indicated that employees feel pressured to either not report injuries, or report back to work before they are fully recovered.
Work With an Experienced Workplace Injury Attorney
Armstrong Law is committed to helping all employees get the benefits they deserve when they are injured on the job. Regardless of whether your employer is a small employer or a behemoth like Amazon, we will help hold them accountable for the injury you suffered on the job. Contact Armstrong Law today at 214-932-1288 or 866-932-1288 or schedule a free evaluation of your workplace injury claim. We are here to help.