Amazon is known for speedy delivery services, but this often comes with a cost. Amazon delivery drivers see a higher rate of injuries than most other types of delivery drivers across the country. This is particularly true for delivery drivers contracted by Amazon. Here, we want to examine why Amazon delivery drivers seem to sustain higher injury rates.
What is Being Reported
It seems like every year, delivering packages for Amazon becomes more dangerous. A CNBC report states that one out of every five Amazon delivery drivers sustained an injury in 2021. These injuries certainly did not all occur to actual Amazon employees. The vast majority of the Amazon delivery network relies on contracted delivery companies to get packages from a central delivery hub to customer doorsteps.
The injury total from 2020 to 2021 represented a 40% increase, which is an alarming spike in the number of injuries for essentially the same type of work.
Amazon has rapidly expanded its delivery service partner program (DPS) since it was implemented in 2018. There are more than 2,000 DSPs across the country now, but as the program has expanded, it has faced scrutiny from lawmakers and labor advocates. The argument is that Amazon fails to ensure driver safety as they work to provide rapid delivery service to customers. DSP drivers have stated that Amazon requires them to meet strict production quotas, which increases the risk of injury at work.
Reporting from the Strategic Organizing Center, which represents a coalition of Labor unions, has found that Amazon contract delivery drivers sustain injuries at 2.5 times the rate of non-Amazon delivery drivers. Additionally, reporting found that nearly one out of every seven injuries to Amazon drivers is so severe that the driver can no longer perform their regular job or are forced to miss work altogether.
To give an idea about how unmanageable the Amazon delivery quotas are, we can examine a class action lawsuit filed by an Amazon delivery partner in Wyoming. The lawsuit claims that drivers are expected to deliver between 350 and 400 packages each day per van. Which requires drivers to make a delivery approximately every one to two minutes, presuming there are no brakes.
Some of the most common injuries associated with Amazon delivery drivers include injuries from trips, slips and falls, dog bite incidents, excessive strains, vehicle accidents, and striking objects.
The data analyzed by the study examined approximately 10% of Amazon delivery service partners. A more complete and thorough examination would likely uncover similar results and injury data.
Contact an Attorney After an Injury
If you are an Amazon delivery driver or a delivery driver for any company and have sustained an injury as a result of on-the-job activities, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled work injury attorney as soon as possible. Harsh working conditions often lead to injuries that should not have otherwise occurred. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for Amazon delivery drivers to recover compensation because most of them are independent contractors. An attorney can examine every aspect of the claim and help formulate a plan moving forward to recover compensation.