New Study Found Nearly One in Five Drivers Making Deliveries for Amazon Suffered Injuries
At Waple & Houk, PLLC, our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys advocate for North Carolina workers’ safety — no matter where or who they work for. Unfortunately, there continues to be a recurring theme involving an alarming rate of injuries occurring at Amazon facilities.
This time, it involves their drivers.
According to a new study by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), nearly one in five Amazon delivery drivers suffered injuries in 2021 — a 40% increase from the previous year’s injury rate — which is the latest data available. The study states that Amazon’s delivery operations suffer from an “escalating injury crisis,” driven mainly by punishing quotas and pressure to deliver packages as quickly as possible.
The SOC analyzed data submitted by Amazon and its delivery partners to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2021 and has cited driver complaints that the company requires them to meet strict production quotas, which increases the risk of injury on the job.
With over 3,000 Delivery Service Partners (DSPs) employing 275,000 drivers and delivering more than 10 million customer packages daily, the question becomes, whose workers’ compensation insurance coverage can drivers pursue for work-related injuries? Or can they?
We have answers.
Amazon Relies on a Fast-Growing Network of Contracted Delivery Companies
Amazon contracts third-party delivery companies, known as delivery service partners, often small businesses, to deliver its packages out of its warehouses. The DSPs are responsible for hiring and training drivers, dispatching routes, and maintaining vehicles.
But as the program has expanded, Amazon has faced some scrutiny from labor advocates, lawmakers, and DSPs who argue the company fails to ensure driver safety in its race to provide faster and faster delivery.
The SOC report found that contracted Amazon delivery drivers suffer injuries nearly two-and-a-half times the rate of the non-Amazon delivery industry.
It also found that, in 2021, one in seven Amazon drivers sustained injuries that were so severe that they either could not perform their regular job or were forced to miss work altogether, the report states.
Amazon’s last-mile delivery stations, the last link in Amazon’s fulfillment operations before packages are delivered to customer’s doorsteps, are also the “most dangerous” type of Amazon facility, with injury rates more than 40% higher than warehouses, the report says.
Which Company’s Workers’ Compensation Can Injured Amazon Drivers Pursue for Benefits?
According to the report, Amazon delivery drivers commonly suffer injuries from trips, slips and falls, strains, dog bites, vehicle accidents, and striking objects, such as a fence post.
Injured North Carolina workers must rely on their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance to be there for their medical care and wage replacement income so they can fully heal and, hopefully, get back to work.
If the driver does not work directly for Amazon, they must typically pursue their employer — the DSP — for workers’ compensation benefits. Even though this is a direct connection, the insurance company may dispute the claim based on a perceived technicality. While this is unfair, it is expected. We can help.
Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation in North Carolina Today
Our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys in North Carolina are available today by phone at (704)-954-8697 or schedule a free consultation online to learn more about how we can help you pursue the best outcome for your injury claim.