Amazon workers are essential, delivering the goods and products that consumers need and want, especially during a global pandemic when in-person shopping may be dangerous. But working for Amazon, whether as a warehouse worker or a driver, is not necessarily safe. In fact, Amazon fulfillment centers have been deemed more dangerous than other warehouse types. Because of the high risk to workers, the state of Washington has decided to boost the workers’ compensation premium rate for Amazon fulfillment center employees. Here is what you should know:
The Dangers of Working as an Amazon Employee
All workplaces pose some risks of injury, even those jobs that are seemingly harmless (i.e. a typist could develop carpal tunnel; a teacher could slip and fall). But working as a warehouse employee or as a delivery driver is especially worrisome. In a warehouse, the risk of falling objects, slip and falls, exertion and repetitive motion injuries, falling from heights, and more are all concerning. For drivers, similar risks also exist, and there are also the risks of being attacked by a dog, being involved in a car accident, and more.
According to a report published by the Center for Investigative Reporting (reported on in an article in SFgate.com), the rate of worker injury at Amazon warehouses is well above the industry average. The article reports that overexertion, being struck by an object, falling, and repetitive motion injuries are the main types of reported injuries.
Washington State Increases Amazon Employee Workers’ Compensation Rate
Based on the high rate of injuries, the state labor agency in Washington decided to increase the workers’ compensation rate for workers – the premium rates have been increased by 15%, an increase that will go into effect beginning January 1. The new premium rate for Amazon will be more aligned with other high-risk industries, including logging and law enforcement.
The reason for the increase is not simply that there have been a lot of workers’ compensation claims filed by Amazon workers, but specifically because the high number of claims was driving up premium costs for other industries, such as grocery distribution centers and other warehouse types. The increase in the premium rate for workers’ compensation for Amazon will help to keep rates in check for other industries.
Call Our New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers to Learn More
If you are a worker in New Jersey, specifically one who works at an Amazon fulfillment center, you should know that the rate increase likely will not directly impact you; that premium cost should be paid by your employer. If you are injured at work, it is important that you know that you have a right to compensation. If you need help filing your claim, determining what your claim is worth, fighting back against a denied claim, or reaching a claim settlement, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Schibell Law LLC are available to assist you.
To learn more about how we can help and your rights as an injured Amazon worker, call our New Jersey law firm today for a free consultation.