The injury rate at an Amazon warehouse in Texas is statistically almost double the national incident rate according to a new report.

Amazon's Texas warehouse had a workplace injury rate of 9.59 in 2019, according to a report, whereas the United States' national rate was 4.5.

By comparison, the incident rate at a prison is 7.3, according to Gizmodo.

READ MORE:
Amazon warehouse tracking system automatically sacks underperforming workers
Shocking details revealed of life working in an Amazon warehouse
The Warehouse online platform TheMarket launches online subscription service
Amazon fights back over talk of poor working conditions in its warehouses

Advertisement

However the company claims the level is higher due to its good workplace practices and huge staffing levels.

Injuries like crushed hands and feet, concussions, fractures, hernias and electric shocks were just some of the incidents recorded at the Texas factory.

One in 10 incidents was even bad enough to be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the US equivalent of Safework Australia.

Amazon has previously said the incident rate is higher because the company has diligent reporting standards.

In a statement news.com.au Amazon said the rates were because the company took an "abundance of caution in not placing employees with work restrictions back at work before they are ready."

"It's inaccurate to say that Amazon fulfillment centres are unsafe and efforts to paint our workplace as such based solely on the number of injury recordings is misleading given the size of our workforce," said an Amazon spokesperson.

According to the tech giant, this means that even minor or near incidents are reported whereas other companies will ignore these incidents.

However, the 2019 incident rate represents three years of increases for the warehouse.

Advertisement

In 2017, the Texas warehouse had an incident rate of 8.15. That number rose 8.72 in 2018.

Over a three-year period, this represents a jump of more than 17 per cent, but an Amazon spokesperson told Gizmodo that other companies underrecorded safety incidents.

"Our practices encourage associates to notify us of all injuries and near misses, ensuring that we learn from these incidents and improve each day," they said.

Amazon said they supported people at the warehouse by having trained professionals on-site 24/7 who could handle everything from sprains to first response during an incident.

"We believe so strongly in the environment provided for fulfilment centre employees, including our safety culture, that we offer public tours where anyone can come see for themselves," the spokesperson said.

This report follows an interview with Amazon workers at a location in New York who claimed they were treated worse than robots.

Workers at the New York location created a petition asking for one half-hour break instead of two 15-minute ones, as it took 15 minutes to get to the break room.

Crushed hands and feet were just some of the injuries suffered by workers. Photo / Getty Images
Crushed hands and feet were just some of the injuries suffered by workers. Photo / Getty Images

CEO Jeff Bezos has also been criticised by workers for amassing a fortune while company employees struggle on minimum wage and few benefits.

Despite a costly divorce, Bezos is still the world's richest man with Bloomberg estimating his net worth at US$127 billion ($196b).

AMAZON AUSTRALIA

Amazon has warehouses in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in Australia.

The latest facility was opened in Perth's Airport Business Precinct last year and will give customers in Western Australia the same delivery options as the east coast.

Amazon Australia director of operations Craig Fuller said the new facility reflected the brand's development and investment in Australia.

"We strongly believe that this further investment will benefit both customers and the local economy and give Western Australian customers quicker delivery of high-demand items," he said.

The ABC did a deep dive into the tech giant's Melbourne facility where they were told that the workplace was "built on a culture of fear" and the high-pressure targets made workers "feel like they couldn't go to the toilet".

Anonymous workers told the ABC they felt dehumanised at the facility, and the company's expectations left many stressed.

"They expect your rate to stay the same all day and you're expected to keep that rate up all day," said one worker.

"You can't go to the toilet."

Amazon defended the culture in its warehouse and said they offer workers five weeks of time off a year and offered full benefits from day one to staff.

"It is impossible to characterise the entirety of a workplace in anecdotes and one-off incidents," they said.

"Associates at Amazon know safety is our top priority and that is taken seriously throughout our entire company."

Amazon also defended its staff right to a toilet and said "associates can use the toilet whenever they want or need to."

- news.com.au