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Amazon ambulance call outs surge 50% ahead of Black Friday

25 Nov 2021
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Ambulance callouts for injuries and other health concerns at Amazon warehouses surged almost 50 per cent in the run up to Black Friday, a Freedom of Information investigation by GMB reveals today [26 November 2021].

The union obtained monthly data from four ambulance trusts that cover major Amazon sites. [see table below] 

Analysis shows that, over a five-year period, November was the worst month for ambulance callouts.  

Demand for ambulances grew by 46 per cent between October and November alone as the company piled on the pressure to fulfil orders.

The figures are released as GMB stages protests outside Amazon sites across the UK today. [2] 

New accident investigation reports obtained by GMB under FOI reveal an alarming safety culture at Amazon, including:  

  • At the Coventry fulfilment centre, serious injuries reported to the Health and Safety Executive in the run-up to Black Friday include injuries to fingers, limbs, back caused by collisions with equipment and repetitive strains.  

  • In April 2020, a complainant to Sunderland City Council said that as an Amazon driver who raised concerns about covid restrictions not being followed, they were ‘verbally threatened and told that I was banned from site potentially making me unemployed.’ 

  • In 2018, an inspector from West Northamptonshire Council said that despite a number of manual handling injuries at Amazon, it was ‘difficult to find evidence of training and management outcomes of accident investigations.’ 

GMB is calling on the company to enter into urgent talks to address its health and safety record in the run up to Black Friday. 

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said:  

“While most people enjoy their Black Friday bargains, Amazon workers are being pushed beyond the limits of human endurance. 

“Each year, ambulance call outs to Amazon sites rocket as workers desperately race to hit their crushing targets. 

“The horrific evidence is here in black and white – ambulance crews are called out to Amazon sites almost 50 per cent more in November.  

“Workers are breaking bones, being left in pain at the end of a shift and getting barred from work for raising covid complaints.  

“Amazon can’t deny it any longer. GMB calls on the Health and Safety Executive to investigate these inhumane working practices. 

“This company is a pandemic profiteer can afford to do better - it’s time for Amazon sit down with their workers’ union GMB and make Amazon a great, safe place to work. “ 

Month 

All callouts 

January 

35 

February 

34 

March 

43 

April 

24 

May 

34 

June 

35 

July 

40 

August 

31 

September 

43 

October 

46 

November 

67 

December 

59 

Total 

491


Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by GMB from NHS ambulance trusts covering the North West, the East Midlands, London, and Wales. 

 
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