Lead Forensics

Shareholders concerned about warehouse safety

Amazon shareholders in the US are pressurising the company to publish safety data. This is after several of the e-retail giant’s workers complained about warehouse safety.

Warehouse safety is a major concern during the coronavirus pandemic. Many warehouses that handle online sales have remained open, while others are reopening as lockdown restrictions are eased. Safety measures include safe distances between workers, frequently washing hands, and disinfecting heavy duty warehouse trolleys between shifts.

Business owners have a responsibility for the health and safety of employees. Warehouses are subject to inspection by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors who can issue fines or prosecute companies for safety breaches. If workers believe that they are working in unsafe conditions, and their concerns are not addressed by business owners, the Amazon situation has shown that shareholders can express concern by asking to see safety data.

According to news media organisation CNBC, Amazon has not been transparent in reporting safety matters. The company refuses to say how many warehouse workers have died from COVID-19, and has not disclosed the number of employees to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Amazon workers met shareholders to discuss their experiences at an event hosted by CtW Investment Group, which owns 890,000 Amazon shares. A letter signed by several shareholders was sent to Amazon director Judith McGrath expressing concerns about the firm’s health and safety media reports.

These actions show that company shareholders have a say in health and safety concerns, particularly during times when warehouses are having to operate more stringent safety procedures.

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