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Injuries at Amazon's New York City facility triple the industry average: Report

Stephanie Pagones

Injury rates at Amazon’s fulfillment center on Staten Island are more than triple the average for the industry, leaked documents obtained by Gizmodo reveal.

Jeff Bezos-owned Amazon reportedly submitted the numbers in its Occupational Safety and Health Administration 300 and 300a forms, which record injuries on an incident-by-incident basis and show yearly injury information, respectively.

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At least 107 incidents – 103 injuries and four unspecified incidents – were reported at the Staten Island facility in 2018, which opened in September of that year and is often known as “JFK8.” The yearly document, 300a, was submitted at the end of 2018 and therefore only includes data for part of the year. OSHA identified the center as having a severity rate of 64 -- "or over two months of missed work per reportable injury, on average," according to the outlet. The severity rate is determined by dividing the number of lost days by reportable incidents, the outlet reported.

Gizmodo reported the injuries at the Staten Island facility, which opened in September 2018, were rated 15.19 by OSHA’s incident rate calculator in 2018, whereas steel foundries were rated 10.2 and sawmills were rated 6.1.

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An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to FOX Business it is “inaccurate to say that Amazon fulfillment centers 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.”

The spokesperson also attributed the perceived high rate of injuries in the “under-recording of safety incidents across the industry.”

But Frank Kearl, an attorney with nonprofit Make the Road, told Gizmodo the numbers from the OSHA report were “staggering.”

“They have higher rates of injuries, and the injuries themselves are incredibly severe, compared to the national average, compared to the national warehouse average, and compared to industries that are known for being very dangerous like solid waste collection, policing,” Kearl told the outlet.

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The majority of the injuries were strains, bruises and sprains, according to the report. But injuries are only reported to OSHA if they surpass a certain level of seriousness, including but not limited to bone fractures, losses of consciousness and injuries that can only be resolved off-site.

“They would tell us to work extremely fast, so I’d trip up over the ladder. I’d have bruises on my legs,” one former JFK8 worker told Gizmodo. “The fans — a lot of them don’t work, which causes a lot of people to get really dizzy.”

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The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health announced similar results in a report released mid-October, which stated: "The Amazon [Staten Island] facility injury and illness rate is [...] a stunning 3 times as high as the average for all other warehouses nationwide."

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