As with any other position that involves interacting with moving parts and heavy machinery, accidents in Amazon warehouses are common. Unfortunately, your legal options following an on-the-job injury are somewhat limited.
Because these injured people are employees, they cannot sue Amazon directly for their losses. Instead, they must pursue payment through a workers’ compensation insurance plan. This can provide both medical care and wage reimbursement but does little to help in case of a permanent injury.
South Carolina Amazon warehouse injuries can have a serious long-term effect on your quality of life. Accordingly, it can be important to know what you are getting into when accepting these positions as well as to what your legal rights are in case of an injury.
What Kinds of Injuries are Common in Amazon Warehouses?
A single lapse in concentration or a mechanical failure can lead to severe injuries in an Amazon fulfillment center. Indeed, various news reports have indicated a high rate of employment injuries. While these workers have attempted to use on-site first aid stations and made requests for workers’ compensation, they allege that Amazon has retaliated in the form of worsening work conditions, higher productivity demands, and reduced benefits.
As a result, common warehouse injuries—including joint injuries, broken bones, and repetitive stress conditions—may result in employment trouble at Amazon. Despite South Carolina laws that require workers’ compensation coverage as well as overall workplace safety, Amazon faces continued criticism for their overall workplace safety protocols.
Potential Legal Options for Injured Amazon Workers
Workplace injuries are common, especially in jobs that require heavy labor. As a result, nearly every employer must carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy under South Carolina Code §42-1-160 that covers any on-the-job injury.
However, making a successful claim under these policies can be an uphill battle. Not only must a worker prove that the injury was due to performing their job, but they must also suffer an injury that is significant enough to keep them out of work for a sufficient amount of time. A failure to meet any of these standards can give a workers’ compensation insurance company an excuse to deny a claim.
Unfortunately, Amazon has a reputation for denying many workers’ compensation claims that their warehouse workers have filed. It is important for all Amazon warehouse workers and potential employees in South Carolina to remember that they have rights while on the job, and an on-the-job injury qualifies them for benefits.
Injuries are an Ever-Present Threat When Working in a South Carolina Amazon Warehouse
Amazon is gaining an increasingly poor reputation for abusive work conditions in their warehouses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently fined the company for failing to report workplace injuries that affected the health of its workers. In addition, various national news stories have attracted attention to the poor working conditions and dangerously paced quotas that leave many employees at a serious risk of harm.
While injuries from working in a warehouse are a fact of life, employers should treat these incidents with compassion and understanding. Amazon often fails this test by requiring hurt employees to return to the job, denying workers’ compensation claims, or requiring them to not collect unemployment after receiving workers’ compensation.
If you are currently working at an Amazon warehouse in South Carolina or are considering taking a job, you need to understand the injuries you could suffer and what your legal options are for recovering from them. An attorney could help to provide more information about the risks involved in working at an Amazon warehouse and what an injury may mean or your health and legal rights.