Amazon are facing calls to end the ‘hellish conditions’ of its UK warehouses, where hundreds of people reportedly suffer serious injuries every year.
In one London site a member of staff was knocked unconscious and stopped breathing after injuring their head, according to findings from the GMB union.
One worker at a warehouse in Manchester got caught in a gate and fractured their hand.
Figures from the union show 622 serious injuries or near misses were sent to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) from Amazon warehouses over the past three years.
GMB says only a handful of the cases they logged were near misses.
To be included in the stats, the wounds need to be serious enough to stop someone performing normal duties for at least seven days, or be on a list including fractures, amputation, crushing, scalping or burning.
The rate of injury reports has gone up every year, from 152 in the financial year of 2017 to 240 in 2019.
However the figures overlap with a period in which the number of warehouses run by Amazon more than doubled, from 10 in 2015 to 22 today.
GMB national officer Mick Rix said: ‘Amazon are spending millions on PR campaigns trying to persuade people its warehouses are great places to work.
‘But the facts are there for all to see – things are getting worse.
‘Hundreds of stricken Amazon workers are needing urgent medical attention. Conditions are hellish.
‘We’ve tried over and over again to get Amazon to talk to us to try and improve safety for workers.
‘But enough is enough – it’s now time for a full parliamentary inquiry.’
In December GMB and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) were joined by members of the shadow cabinet for a demonstration outside Amazon’s London offices.
The unions and politicians said that Amazon should be paying millions more in taxes, which the online giant disputes.
A spokesman for Amazon said: ‘Amazon is a safe place to work. Yet again, our critics seem determined to paint a false picture of what it’s like to work for Amazon.
‘They repeat the same sensationalised allegations time and time again.
‘Our doors are open to the public, to politicians, and indeed to anyone who truly wants to see the modern, innovate and, most importantly, safe environment we provide to our people.’
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