According to a BBC news story “Amazon warehouse accidents total 440”.
While this is obviously bad news for the people involved, is it good or bad compared to the industry as a whole?
The tenor of the story implies it is bad news.
But then the details of the story don’t quite back that up.
Firstly, the 440 figure is the total of four years worth of data collected by the GBM union from local authorities via freedom of information requests. The figure for the last complete year, 2017-2018, was 149.
Is this number high? Well, Amazon says it has 25,000 people employed in the UK and the Health and Safety Executive says the average non-fatal accident rate in the warehousing and transportation support industries category in 2016-2017 was 1,577 per 100,000 workers.
Assuming the rate has stayed about the same the following year, for Amazon to have had an average accident rate it would have recorded 394 accidents. So on these data you could say Amazon is a substantially better than average performer on accidents.
The BBC story quotes the GMB saying : “the actual numbers were probably higher, because some local authorities were unable to provide details of incident reports.”
That may well be so, but frankly they could be double and it still would not be much of a story.