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REPORT: Warren, Markey, Kennedy, looking for answers as serious injuries at Fall River Amazon facility, others, see sharp increases



Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, along with Rep Joe Kennedy III are looking for answers concerning serious injuries at the Amazon fulfillment center in Fall River.

In a letter addressed to President, Chief Executive Officer of Amazon Jeff Bezos, the trio express concern that newly released information in an investigation conducted by Reveal News states that Amazon’s response to their December 20, 2019 letter about serious injuries at the Amazon fulfillment center in Fall River contained misleading statements about Amazon’s worker injury record and safety practices, and that the information suggests that Amazon is not seriously addressing high injury rates at the Fall River and other fulfillment centers.

The trio states that “a new report based on Amazon safety reports and injury numbers finds that, “company officials have profoundly misled the public and lawmakers about its record on worker safety.” In particular, Reveal found “a mounting injury crisis at Amazon warehouses, one that is especially acute at robotic facilities and during Prime week and the holiday peak –and one that Amazon has gone to great lengths to conceal.” The report adds additional evidence to findings that Amazon has industry-high injury rates at fulfillment centers: In 2019, Amazon fulfillment centers recorded 14,000 serious injuries –those requiring days off or job restrictions. The overall rate of 7.7 serious injuries per 100 employees was 33% higher than in 2016 and nearly double the most recent industry standard.

The letter went on to address figures specific to the Fall River facility.

“At the facility in Fall River, MA, a jurisdiction we represent, Reveal found the “warehouse’s rate of lost-time injuries, for example, was more than 50% higher in 2019 compared with 2018 and six times the industry average.” In January 2020, in response to a letter from us about worker safety concerns, Amazon stated that there was a 34.3% reduction from 2018 to 2019 in the Lost Time Injury rate at Fall River during the “peak season” but failed to note that lost-time injuries were increasing overall.”

According to Reveal, Amazon declined to directly address questions about the findings, but provided a statement saying, “Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our teams.”

Warren, Markey, and Kennedy have requested Amazon to respond to the letter by October 28th.

“Overall, it appears your evaluation of effectiveness has less to do with worker safety than with maximizing profit.”

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