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440 accidents recorded at Amazon warehouse

Amazon has reported more than 440 health and safety incidents at its UK warehouses since 2015, according to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests.

The GMB union requested information from local authorities throughout the UK. It discovered that workers had suffered fractures, head injuries, bruising, and collisions with heavy equipment. Amazon said it was a safe place to work and that reports to the contrary were "simply wrong".

According to the data collected from the FoI requests, in 2015-2016 there were 80 health and safety incidents. This number rose to 114 in 2016-2017, and then to 149 in 2017-2018. So far in 2018-2019, there have been 99 health and safety incidents. The GMB said the actual numbers were probably higher, because some local authorities were unable to provide details of incident reports.

Amazon said that in 2015, it had eight fulfilment centres in the UK, but now it has 17. The FoI requests also revealed that Amazon employees had made complaints to local authorities about working conditions. A GMB spokesman told the BBC, "Amazon's claims over its health and safety record have not been independently verified, and there are good reasons to doubt that they are accurate," 

"GMB's investigations at the Rugeley warehouse in Staffordshire suggests that the serious injury rate may be significantly higher than the sector average. "If it wants to be taken seriously, Amazon should publish its own health and safety data and recognise GMB so workers have an independent voice through which to raise their serious concerns."

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