Lead Forensics

Amazon invites journalists to witness safe working conditions

Faced with criticism in the press about alleged unsafe working conditions in its warehouses, e-retail behemoth Amazon has responded by inviting customers and journalists into its warehouses to see for themselves how workers’ health and safety is protected.

There have been media reports about Amazon workers having to meet strict work targets that cause stress. One newspaper claimed that ambulances have been called out to one Amazon warehouses regularly to treat injured or sick staff. The company has strenuously denied these claims and says it has nothing to hide, which is why it has opened its workplaces to visitors.

The guides who show visitors around emphasise the safety measures in place, which include hi-vis workwear and vending machines that dispense protective gloves at every workstation.

A reporter from the Times & Star newspaper visited Amazon’s Peterborough warehouse, where he saw a sign that said the last safety incident was 219 days ago. He found no obvious safety issues, but said:

“Looking back at the never-ending grey facade of the warehouse, I wasn’t surprised by the miserable reputation it has gained as a workplace.”

Whether miserable or mesmerising, businesses should be open about how safe they are, especially when customers are concerned about how workers are treated,

Worker health and safety is a priority for most warehouses. Employees are trained in the safe use of warehouse storage trolleys and other equipment, and need to be allocated regular breaks to recover from strenuous work.

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