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Amazon launches effort to reduce workplace injuries

Worker suffering from backpain

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the largest category of workplace injuries in the country. Injured workers are left in pain and require medical treatment. They are also frequently left unable to work for some time. Amazon and the National Safety Council have announced a partnership to address the problem by finding new ways to prevent these injuries.

It’s a problem that Amazon knows well – a report from the Strategic Organizing Center found that workers at Amazon warehouses are injured at higher rates than workers at rival companies such as Walmart. The report found there were 5.9 serious injuries for every 100 Amazon warehouse workers in 2020 – nearly 80% higher than the rate of serious injury at warehouses of other companies.

Amazon has 12 facilities in New York City alone.

Partnership eyes innovative ways to reduce injury

The company has instituted programs focused on reducing MSDs and claims that these injuries fell by 32% between 2019 and 2020. It says serious MSDs resulting in time away from work were reduced by more than half.

The partnership will try to find innovative ways to prevent MSDs. The collaboration will include five components:

  • An advisory council of safety experts, corporations, and researchers to review promising approaches to MSD prevention
  • Conducting research to explore innovations and trends, using artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning tools
  • Providing grants to small businesses, universities, and students to fund research
  • Launching an Innovation Challenge competition to highlight techniques and ideas
  • Sharing solutions with other companies to reduce MSDs

The risk factors for MSDs include many activities that are part of a warehouse worker’s job. These include lifting heavy items, reaching above, bending, pushing, and pulling heavy loads. Other risky activities include awkward body postures such as reaching or twisting and repeating the same physical tasks over and over.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, work-related MSDs “are among the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time.”

We fight for the rights of injured workers

MSDs can occur in the neck, back, shoulders, elbows, hands, or wrists. Examples include sprains, strains, tears, pinched nerves, hernia, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers often experience pain and may be unable to do their jobs while they recover from their injuries.

When workers are hurt on the job, they deserve workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits pay for medical treatment to treat work-related injuries and provide partial wages while workers are unable to go back to the workplace.

But the process is far from simple. Claims for benefits are often denied for many different reasons. Sometimes the employer or insurance company disputes a claim. Other times, a claim may be denied simply because a deadline was missed or a mistake was made when filling out a form.

Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP has been fighting for injured workers in New York for decades. We’ve served more than 100,000 clients and have helped them get the results they need. Our experienced attorneys guide clients through the workers’ compensation process every step of the way.

If you’ve been injured, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation.

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