With its vast range of products and increasingly faster fulfillment and delivery times, Amazon has dramatically changed the way we shop and live. Unfortunately, those speedy orders often come at the expense of their warehouse workers' safety and well-being.
Though warehouse work can be inherently dangerous, Amazon's prioritization of productivity and efficiency over safety results in particularly hazardous conditions for employees.
This has led to a disproportionate number of workplace accidents and injuries compared to other companies. In 2018, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health included Amazon in its report, The Dirty Dozen: Employers Who Put Workers and Communities at Risk, identifying the company's fulfillment centers as some of the most dangerous workplaces in the United States.
To make matters worse, injured Amazon employees often have difficulty obtaining the workers' compensation benefits they need and deserve. The nearly 100,000 seasonal employees added to the company's workforce to meet increased demands during the winter holiday months are especially at risk for both injury and trouble collecting benefits.
Hurt working at an Amazon fulfillment center in the Atlanta area? You may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, even if you're a seasonal employee. Here's what you need to know.
Amazon Warehouse Workers Face a High Risk of Injury
Amazon's disregard for the safety of its warehouse workers is well documented. Workers are often required to stand for the duration of their 10-hour shifts and walk 10 or more miles per day—without breaks—in addition to completing mandatory overtime.
The company's been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to provide employees with personal protective equipment, as well as exposing them to hazards such as falls, unsafe machinery, dangerous noise levels, electrocution, and ergonomic, repetitive stress risks. OSHA also cited the company for failing to ensure that the onsite medical teams who provide care to injured workers have the appropriate qualifications and supervision.
Common Amazon warehouse worker injuries include:
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Eye injuries
- Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Knee injuries
- Cardiac issues
Workers' Compensation Benefits Available
Amazon carries workers' compensation insurance as required by law. Workers' compensation benefits are available to nearly all injured employees, regardless of whether they work full time, part time, or seasonally. Best of all, eligibility for benefits begins on the first day of the job.
Were you injured in an Amazon workplace accident? You may be entitled to the following benefits:
- Coverage of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your on-the-job injury.
- Income replacement payments equaling two-thirds your average weekly wage (up to a maximum of $675).
- Temporary disability benefits.
- Physical rehabilitation equipment and costs.
- Vocational rehabilitation expenses.
- Compensation for permanent disability.
If your loved one was killed in an Amazon workplace accident, your family may be eligible for workers' compensation death benefits which may include reasonable funeral and burial expenses—up to $7,500—and weekly income replacement payments.
Protecting Your Rights After an On-the-Job Injury
The workers' compensation claims process can be complicated and frustrating, and insurance adjusters count on injured workers not having a firm grasp of their legal rights and options. Here's what you can do to protect your right to workers' compensation benefits after an Amazon warehouse injury:
- Seek timely medical treatment for your injuries.
- Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments and complete the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor.
- Notify your employer of the injury as soon as possible.
- Consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney.
Consult a Skilled Attorney About Your Amazon Workers' Compensation Case
Were you injured while working a seasonal job for Amazon? The knowledgeable attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can investigate your claim, help you understand your rights and options, and fight for the workers' compensation benefits you're owed. Contact us today to schedule a free initial case consultation.