- An Amazon “wellness” guide told workers to train as “industrial athletes” to do better, Vice reported.
- The guide gave advice such as buying shoes at the end of workers ’shifts to better adapt to their swollen feet.
- A former employee leaked the guide to Vice and said Amazon told him to continue working after an injury.
- See more stories on the Insider activity page.
Amazon has distributed a “health and wellness guide” to workers at a store in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ordering them to train as “industrial athletes” to improve their performance at work, Vice News he reported Tuesday.
The guide, according to Vice, tells workers to “prepare their bodies” to walk “up to 13 miles a day” and to lift “a total of £ 20,000” during a single shift (more than £ 30 per minute for a 10-hour shift).
The guide, Vice reported, discusses topics that include nutrition, hydration, sleep, footwear, ergonomics and injury prevention, with suggestions such as: eat five to nine servings of vegetables per day, “monitor your urine color,” and buy shoes “at the end of the day when your feet are swollen to allow plenty of space when they swell during work.”
Amazon also said in the guide, according to Vice, that workers could seek help from “injury prevention specialists” for “bodily discomfort you may have as an industrial athlete.”
Amazon told Insider that the guide was created “by mistake” and that it “deleted” the guide. It is unclear whether the guide was distributed in additional stores beyond that of Tulsa.
Amazon did not respond to Insider’s follow-up questions about who was responsible for creating the guide, because no one understood what the company said was a guide created by mistake before it was distributed to users. workers, or when it is removed (Vice said the 2020 guides).
Vice said he obtained guidance from former Amazon employee Bobby Gosvenor, who said the company told him to continue working even after suffering a herniated disc – an injury he suffered as a result of a broken conveyor belt that the company hadn’t even repaired – and that Amazon delayed it from receiving treatment for two months forcing it to seek diagnoses from several doctors.
Amazon did not respond to questions about Gosvenor’s injury.
Vice’s report on Amazon’s “welfare” guide, which told workers how to take care of them, comes on the same day as an analysis by the Washington Post that found that Amazon does a very bad job care of its workers as competitors
By 2020, about 5.9 out of every 100 Amazon employees were injured at work, compared to 2.5 at Walmart, according to The Post’s analysis. That repeats the previous signal from Reveal and other stores that show that Amazon has been around for so long higher rates of injuries at work of what is typical for their industry, and has misled the public and regulators about those taxes by underreporting injuries, delaying workers from seeking medical treatment, and assigning employees to “light” work in an effort to minimize hours of work lost due to serious injuries.
In response to The Post’s story, Amazon told Insider that the company is investing more in safety at work and is taking a number of steps to reduce injuries. One of these programs is his The work program, which includes closed-box telephone booths where employees can practice
In Final letter from Jeff Bezos shareholder as CEO, he also detailed Amazon’s plans to use algorithms to rotate workers between jobs in an effort to use all of their muscle groups rather than overloading one muscle group.
But none of Amazon’s wellness programs had appeared before to address what some experts say is the root of their injury rates: demanding and inflexible productivity quotas, which require workers to complete a large number of activities. per turn and to penalize them for “time out of task. “
Amazon employees have repeatedly told Insider and other media that restrictive time-off-task assignments and fear of revenge force them to skip bath breaks and bottled fish and contributes to stressful working conditions.
Tuesday, Amazon posted a blog post saying it would measure each worker’s work time over a longer period of time in an effort to focus more on resolving “operational problems” in relation to identifying “underperforming employees”.
However, Amazon is not committed to easing its productivity quotas or allowing workers more time out of their business.
Aiha Nguyen, a researcher at think tank Data & Society, which studies how Amazon and other employers use technology to extract more productivity from workers, said in a recent report that the rise in work supervision – with weakened labor laws – contributes to “acceleration of work, overwork, and injuries.”
“Amazon has driven the package toward technologically driven accelerations,” Nguyen said, citing its time-off-task policy and a game called “Mission Racer” that Amazon created to make workers compete with each other to achieve customers’ orders.
“Doing work in a race contrasts with other standard and accepted engineering principles that set rates based on the ability of an average worker or the overall workforce, not an algorithm,” Nguyen said. “As a result, the injury rate for warehouse workers is rising.”
In response to The Post’s report, working groups affiliated with Amazon employees have asked the company to end its time-off-task policies.
“The incredible analysis published today is proof that Amazon’s impossible productivity requirements are unsustainable and must be brought to a rapid end. Amazon’s stressful and strenuous pace puts workers at increased risk of serious injuries, and frighteningly it has been used to punish all workers who push back, ”Debbie Berkowitz, director of the workers’ safety and health program at the National Employment Law Project, said in a statement.
“Amazon workers don’t need it
cabins. They need Amazon to finalize the tariff and Time Off Task requirements and redesign the physical layout of the jobs to provide workers with a secure job. Workers should not have to sacrifice their health for a salary, ”he added.