Amazon is often accused of treating workers like expendable robots. And like machines, generally they break down.
A 2019 survey of 145 warehouse staff discovered that 65% of them skilled bodily ache whereas doing their jobs. Almost half (42%) stated the ache persists even once they’re not working.
That’s an actual disgrace — for Amazon. Those pesky accidents can decelerate the corporate’s relentless tempo of labor.
But the e-commerce big might have discovered an answer. Is it a extra humane workload? Upgraded staff’ rights? Of course not. It’s an algorithm that switches employees round duties that use completely different physique components.
Jeff Bezos unveiled the system in his final letter as CEO to Amazon shareholders:
We’re growing new automated staffing schedules that use subtle algorithms to rotate workers amongst jobs that use completely different muscle-tendon teams to lower repetitive movement and assist defend workers from MSD [musculoskeletal disorder] dangers. This new know-how is central to a job rotation program that we’re rolling out all through 2021.
The world’s richest man added that Amazon has already diminished these accidents.
He stated that muskoskeletal issues on the firm dropped by 32% from 2019 to 2020. More importantly, MSDs leading to day without work work decreased by greater than half.
Those claims most likely shouldn’t be taken at face worth, nonetheless. Last yr, an investigation discovered that Amazon had misled the general public about office harm charges.
Bezos did acknowledge that the corporate nonetheless must do a greater job for workers. But he disputed claims that workers are “treated as robots.”
Employees are capable of take casual breaks all through their shifts to stretch, get water, use the restroom, or discuss to a supervisor, all with out impacting their efficiency.
He added that Amazon goes to be “Earth’s Best Employer” and “Earth’s Safest Place to Work.” Reports of employees peeing in bottles, stunning injury rates, union-busting, invasive surveillance, and unattainable performance targets recommend he’s obtained an extended method to go.
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