Nearly one in five Amazon delivery drivers suffered injuries in 2021, study finds

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  • Nearly one in five Amazon delivery drivers suffered injuries in 2021, according to a new study.
  • Amazon relies on a rapidly growing network of contracted delivery companies to ferry packages to customers’ doors, but it often sacrifices security for speed, the strategic organizing center wrote in a new report published Tuesday.

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Amazon’s delivery operations are suffering from a “growing injury crisis,” driven largely by pressure to penalize quotas and ferry packages as quickly as possible, according to a new study,

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The Strategic Organizing Center said in a report released Tuesday that nearly one in five drivers who deliver for Amazon were hurt in 2021, which is 40% higher than last year’s injury rate.

The SOC, a coalition of labor unions including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union, analyzed data submitted by Amazon and its distribution partners to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2021.

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Amazon increasingly relies on a rapidly growing network of third-party delivery companies to pick up packages from its warehouses and drop them off at customers’ doors. Third-party delivery companies are part of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner Program, which was launched in 2018. In just a few years, more than 2,000 DSPs in the US have joined the program.

But as the program has expanded, Amazon has faced some scrutiny from labor advocates, lawmakers and DSPs, who argue that the company fails to ensure driver safety in its race to provide faster and faster deliveries. . Delivery drivers have also complained that the company requires them to meet strict production quotas, which increases the risk of injury at work.

The SOC report found that contracted Amazon delivery drivers suffer injuries at nearly two and a half times the rate of the non-Amazon delivery industry. The report also found that, in 2021, seven Amazon drivers suffered injuries so severe that they either could not do their regular jobs, or were forced to return to work altogether, the report said.

Amazon’s last-mile delivery station, which is the last link in Amazon’s fulfillment operations before delivering packages to customers’ doors, is also the “most dangerous” type of Amazon facility, with a more than 40% injury rate compared to warehouses. Yes, says the report.

According to the report, Amazon’s “uncontrollably high quota” for delivery drivers is a major catalyst behind the high injury rate. it quotes a class-action lawsuit Filed by Wyoming Amazon Delivery Partner, which claimed that the company expects drivers to deliver around 350-400 packages per day per van. The report states that drivers make one delivery every 1 to 2 minutes, assuming they don’t take any breaks.

Amazon delivery drivers commonly suffer injuries from traveling, slips and falls, strains, dog bites, vehicle accidents and hitting an object, such as a fence post, the report cites. Data from Pinacol AssuranceA workers compensation insurance carrier in Colorado that analyzed Amazon DSP workforce claims in 2020.

In January, Amazon exposure It spent $300 million on worker safety improvements in 2021. It said the rate of employees missing work due to workplace injury dropped 43% in 2020 from the previous year.

Earlier this year, Amazon CEO Andy Jesse said in his first letter to shareholders since taking the helm last July that Amazon’s injury rate was “slightly below average for our courier and delivery peers.”

SOC researchers argue that the claim is “misleading on several levels” because it uses stale data and excludes Amazon’s network of DSP drivers.

“The number of drivers hired by Amazon DSPs account for half of all Amazon delivery system workers in the US, yet the company does not include these drivers in public reporting of injury rates,” the report said.

Amazon has established policies and measures aimed at improving safety among its delivery driver employees, such as an app called “Mentor.” Drivers are required to run the app continuously while at work, and it generates a daily score of their driving performance. But drivers previously told CNBC that the app produces errors, resulting in low scores.

Last February, Amazon began installing AI-enabled cameras in delivery vans to increase security.

According to the SOC, increased oversight of employees hasn’t helped reduce the injury rate among Amazon delivery drivers. The report said the injury rate for DSP drivers rose 38% from 2020 to 2021, “despite the introduction of additional monitoring by Amazon in early 2021”.

The SOC said that these systems increase the pressure that drivers feel to work at high speeds to meet their delivery quota.

According to the report, “The real issue is Amazon’s excessive production pressure and delivery quotas that drive Amazon employees to work too fast and DSP drivers at risk of injury as they try to hit delivery targets.” run for.”

Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

watch: Amazon delivery companies skip security checks to maintain quota

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