According to a report from The Seattle Times, Amazon delivery drivers are injured at a disproportionately high rate, and that rate is increasing. A study published by the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC)—a labor rights organization—found that nearly 20 percent of delivery drivers working for Amazon were hurt on the job in 2021. That represents a nearly 40 percent increase from the previous year. Here, our Seattle workers’ compensations attorneys discuss the risk that Amazon delivery drivers face and explain your options if you are injured while working for the company.
Study: Amazon Delivery Drivers Put Under High Pressure, Injured at Disproportionate Rates
In its report, The Worst Mile, the SOC notes that Amazon has seen record revenues during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company strongly emphasizes fast delivery times and puts its entire team—from warehouse workers to delivery drivers—under high pressure to meet performance expectations. Sadly, there are serious concerns about worker safety at the company.
With nearly 1 in 5 Amazon delivery drivers hurt on the job in 2021, these workers are injured at higher rates than comparable workers at other companies. Alarmingly, the number of serious injuries for delivery drivers at Amazon also jumped significantly in 2021. In 2021, there was a 47 percent increase in serious delivery driver injuries from 2020.
The Most Common Amazon Delivery Driver Injuries
The SOC analyzes comprehensive workers’ compensation claims data from several states. In doing so, the nonprofit organization determined that Amazon delivery drivers are injured in a wide range of different ways. Here are the five most common types of Amazon delivery driver injuries in 2021:
- Slips, trips, and other fall accidents;
- Overexertion injuries (muscle strains);
- Dog bite injuries;
- Motor vehicle collisions; and
- Striking-an-object injuries.
Other Worker Safety Concerns at Amazon
Delivery drivers are not the only Amazon employees that are reportedly injured at disproportionate rates. Earlier this year, CNBC cited a study that found that Amazon warehouse workers are approximately two times more likely to be harmed on the job than warehouse workers at other companies. Many warehouses suffer muscle strains, back injuries, and other overexertion and repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). Notably, Amazon admitted that warehouse worker safety was a problem at the company. In its own report to shareholders, the company stated that a highly disproportionate share of warehouse workers are injured within their first six months on the job.
Washington Hit Amazon with Workplace Safety Fines Earlier this Year
Workplace safety regulators in Washington are taking notice of the issues at Amazon. As reported by Business Insider, the Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) fined Amazon $60,000 for “knowingly putting workers at risk of injury.” The specific violation occurred at one of the company’s fulfillment centers in Kent, WA. L&I determined that Amazon’s practice created an impermissible risk of work-related back injuries, shoulder injuries, wrist injuries, and knee injuries.
Injured as an Amazon Delivery Driver? Know Your Rights
In Washington State, all employers are required to provide no-fault workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Many delivery drivers are not employed directly by Amazon—instead, they are employed by the company’s so-called delivery service partners or DSPs. Still, your employer is required to provide you with workers’ compensation coverage. Here is what you need to know about your rights and options:
- Workers’ Compensation Claim: Any injury should be immediately reported to your supervisor and/or employer. Get medical treatment and follow-up care. You can file a workers’ compensation claim regardless of fault as these are no-fault claims. Your workers’ compensation benefits will cover medical care that is “proper and necessary” as well as partial wage replacement.
- Third Party Liability Claim: Amazon delivery drivers hurt on the job may also have a third party liability claim. If you were harmed because of the negligence of any party other than your employer—another driver, a dog owner, etc.—you can file a personal injury claim directly against that party. In Washington State, you can still file for workers’ compensation benefits even if you intend on pursuing a third party liability claim.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Workers’ Comp Attorney in Seattle
At The Walthew Law Firm, our Seattle work injury attorneys are committed to helping clients secure the maximum available financial compensation. If you or your loved one was hurt while working as a delivery driver for Amazon, we are here to help. Call us now or send us a message to arrange a no cost, no commitment initial consultation. With a law office in Seattle, we provide legal representation to injured workers in King County and throughout Western Washington.