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Study Shows Over 40% of Amazon Workers Injured at Work

The University of Illinois – Chicago's Center for Urban Economic Development surveyed 1,484 Amazon workers across 451 facilities and 42 states earlier this year. Using ads on Meta apps, the Center asked 98 questions about the working conditions in Amazon's warehouses. In announcing its findings, the Center said, "The survey data indicates that how Amazon designs its processes-including extensive monitoring and the rapid pace of work-is contributing to a considerable physical and mental health toll, including injuries, burnout, and exhaustion."

Almost 70% of the participating employees have taken time off due to pain or exhaustion in the past month. Thirty-four percent have taken off time for those same reasons three or more times in the last three years. Workers' most common injuries were sprains, strains, or tears, with almost half noting moderate or severe pain in the leg, knee, or foot in the last few months. Regulators in Amazon's home state of Washington and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration have already been questioning the company about risks to warehouse employees in the way it does business.

Amazon is challenging the federal and state regulators' allegations. A company spokesperson said the Center's report was not a study, but a social media survey conducted by individuals with an ulterior motive. She acknowledged that the company still has work to do on safety, but it is a top priority that it continues to invest in. Workers know that Amazon is trying to prioritize safety with changes at the "margins," but critics believe the fundamental processes in the system need to be changed.