Is Amazon the safest place to work in retail?
Amazon’s management wants the world to know that the company is serious when it comes to the health and safety of its workers. The corporate giant has debuted WorkingWell, a comprehensive physical and mental health program intended to make Amazon the safest place to do manual work on the planet.
The company is making a $300 million investment this year and plans to use WorkingWell to help cut workplace injuries in half by 2025. Amazon points to musculoskeletal injuries, including sprains and strains, as its biggest issue. Forty percent of recorded incidents at Amazon facilities fall under the musculoskeletal injury category. Such injuries, typically associated with repetitive actions, are particularly concerning among new employees who may not have worked at similar jobs before Amazon.
Amazon is expanding the WorkingWell program, which it first launched in 2019, to 350 sites in North America and Europe, to cover 859,000 employees.
The program includes:
Health Huddles: Daily gatherings of small groups of workers to watch short interactive videos by health and safety professionals and injury prevention specialists.
Wellness Zones: Voluntary stretching programs taking place in dedicated spaces within Amazon’s facilities. Interactive videos are provided on body mechanics, stretching, etc.
AmaZen: Workers are guided in mindfulness practices via individual interactive kiosks. Employees can visit AmaZen stations during their shifts and watch short videos on guided meditations and more.
Wellness Centers: Amazon uses onsite medical representatives and certified athletic trainers to provide education and first-aid, in the case of injury.
EatWell: Break rooms at Amazon facilities will offer an expanded selection of healthier snacks, such as fruit, granola bars and veggie snack packs. Awareness of healthier eating habits increased during the pilot, with 50 percent of workers surveyed saying they were making more nutritious choices.
Neighborhood Health Centers: Amazon, in partnership with Crossover Health, is providing employees and their families quality, affordable healthcare within 10 miles of where they work. The Centers provide acute, chronic and preventive care services, including prescription medications, mental health, physical therapy and pediatrics. Seventeen centers are currently operating in five U.S. cities with 85 percent of workers using this as their one-stop for primary medical care.
Mind & Body Moments: Workers are guided through physical and mental activities at their workstations every hour.
Mobile App: Amazon plans to provide workers with an app to access all the features of the WorkingWell program.
- From Body Mechanics to Mindfulness, Amazon Launches Employee-Designed Health and Safety Program called WorkingWell Across U.S. Operations – Amazon press release
- Amazon launches new worker safety program – The Hill
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of Amazon’s WorkingWell program, not only as it relates to reducing workplace injuries but also as an employee recruiting and retention tool? Where do you see opportunities for retailers that do not have Amazon’s resources to improve the health and safety of their workers?