440 serious health and safety incidents at Amazon’s UK warehouses in last three years

As many as 440 serious health and safety incidents have been reported at Amazon’s UK warehouses in the last three years.

12 Oct 2018| News

This is according to an analysis of RIDDOR reports by GMB union, which found people being forced to work in sub-zero temperatures in Dundee, drivers made to wait for eight to ten hours in an unheated room which inspectors said “needs to be rectified before Amazon is responsible for road accidents”, and complaints that Amazon and its contractors “create an environment of fear to speak out in matters that risk our lives and the lives of the general public on the road”.

Fractures, contusions, head injuries and collisions with heavy equipment were among some of the accidents revealed by the analysis, alongside evidence that poor working conditions were leading to health and safety concerns.

A forklift truck driver crashed into a column in London, almost causing a floor to collapse, due to a “lapse of concentration, possibly due to long working hours”, one report read.

General Secretary of GMB, Tim Roache, said: “Amazon bosses are burying their heads in the sand but no amount of spin or an expensive PR agency can get around that fact that these official figures give a horrifying insight into their warehouses – no one should go to work worried about being knocked unconscious or breaking bones.

“Amazon is treating workers like robots, not humans. This is a multi-billion pound company owned by the richest man in the world. You have to ask yourself whether it’s a deliberate decision to sacrifice safety to keep the bottom line growing, because I can’t see why else you’d tolerate these conditions.”

The company is also refusing to engage with trade unions. Tim Roache said they “won’t even let GMB Union through their gates, despite the fact we have hundreds of members working inside”.

”If Amazon is so confident they’re doing right by their workforce, why are they worried about talking to us?” he commented.