Worker Injuries At Amazon – And Why You May Need A Lawyer
At first, it sounds exciting to work at Amazon, one of the world’s most prominent companies. But being an employee at this retail giant isn’t always a dream – in fact, the company’s facilities are hotspots for injuries, and injured workers are often denied compensation, or worse, fired.
If you are an Amazon employee in Virginia, you’ll want to be aware of the safety risks at your workplace and of your rights in the event of an injury. Further, you may have to be prepared to legally fight for what you deserve as an injured employee of this company.
Injury Risks At Amazon
In April 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revealed the “Dirty Dozen” – US employers that have been found to put their workers at risk. The list names automobile companies, farms, and other industrial corporations, but among them is Amazon.
How did this online retailer make the list of hazardous workplaces? The answer lies mostly in the working conditions within Amazon’s warehouses and distribution facilities known as fulfillment centers.
As is typical of a warehouse, a day at Amazon facilities includes working with trucks and equipment, heavy-lifting, and fast-paced physical activity. These are already prime ingredients for accidents, but the company pushes this further. According to the OSHA, Amazon workplaces lack “an intentional health and safety system program.” Employees have also complained for years about the excessive heat inside fulfillment centers, pushing them to fatigue and heatstroke.
The Challenges Of Claiming Workers’ Compensation From Amazon
Many cases of injuries at Amazon have become nightmares for workers, not only because of their physical suffering but also because of how the company has dealt with them. There are cases of workers being denied their workers’ compensation benefits, and cases of workers losing their jobs.
One Amazon counter in Texas injured her back twice because her workstation lacked a safety device called a brush guard. The first time she was injured, the company sent her home and refused to pay her for a few weeks. The second time, she claims that the workers’ compensation insurer had the company doctor discontinue her as a patient. The ordeal has left her homeless.
Across the US, Amazon facilities are filled with such stories. In California, a temp worker nearly died of heat stress while working in a 110-degree metal container. In Pennsylvania, an employee fell from a ladder and permanently injured her back, but the company refused to give her paperwork for the compensation and instead fired her. And just last year, a “picker” at Amazon’s Chester, Virginia center nearly collapsed from the heat. When she tried to file a report, the company allegedly ignored it, essentially barring her from claiming compensation.
Protecting Yourself In A Workers’ Compensation Claim
The terrible treatment of injured workers is sadly not uncommon in large and powerful companies. These corporations are experienced in handling compensation claims and well-equipped to face lawsuits.
The best way for you to protect your rights as an employee is to have a reliable attorney on your side. A lawyer can help ensure that your claim is successful, and also advise you on the future of your job. You should not have to worry about getting terminated or facing retaliation if you are only pursuing what you are legally entitled to.
Amazon locations in Virginia include Petersburg, Chester, Clear Brook, Hanover County, and Henrico County. No matter where in Virginia you work, you can approach us at Slominski Law to help you with your work injury concerns. We are dedicated to helping Virginians obtain what they deserve, even in the face of large companies.
Your initial consultation with us is completely free. Call us today at (434) 384-9400 or reach us through our online contact form.