Three former workers at Amazon's warehouse in Campbellsville told The Seattle Times there was pressure to manage injuries so they would not have to be reported to OSHA, such as attributing workplace injuries to pre-existing conditions or treating wounds in a way that did not trigger federal reports. [...]Avoiding stitches and other treatments that might trigger an injury report "when possible"? Doesn't that just make you wonder what Amazon managers consider "possible." But it's actually very common for companies to keep their injury statistics down by pressuring workers not to report injuries, including offering bonuses—as Amazon does—for clean injury reports. That's why, for instance, unionized coal mines have more injuries reported but fewer traumatic injuries and deaths—having a union means minor injuries are more likely to be reported despite an overall safer work environment. And Amazon, of course, is fiercely anti-union.
A former warehouse safety official said in-house medical staff were asked to treat wounds, when possible, with bandages rather than refer workers to a doctor for stitches that could trigger federal reports. And warehouse officials tried to advise doctors on how to treat injured workers.
The Seattle Times interviewed former managers and safety officials who described being intimidated away from reporting problems or pushing for change, including one who was told to either resign or be fired for a rule violation he supposedly committed, coincidentally (it's always coincidental), just a week after expressing his concerns about overheating and other working conditions.
If you had to choose between working in an Amazon warehouse and a Walmart one, Amazon seems like the better bet—pay and benefits are better, at a minimum. But, as Mother Jones' Mac McClelland detailed in her account of working in such a warehouse, the price of free shipping these days is in workers forced to keep up a brutal pace, walking or running more than 10 miles a day across concrete floors, squatting and reaching and carrying, and fired when they can't keep up, even if the reason they can't keep up is that their bodies have been broken by the work.