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Warehouses can be dangerous workplaces for Connecticut workers

Any workplace can be dangerous for the folks who are on the job there. Of course, some industries, like health care and construction, are considerably more dangerous and account for a higher proportion of workers' compensation claims than others. In recent months, warehouses that fulfill orders for online retailers, such as the Amazon facilities in Windsor and Wallingford, have drawn the attention of regulators and worker safety watchdog organizations. Amazon will break ground on a new, 855,000 square foot fulfillment center in New Haven this summer.

Workplace safety advocates have recently put Amazon's fulfillment facilities in their crosshairs. The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) put the company on their 2018, "Dirty Dozen" list, which marks Worker's Memorial Week each year. The annual list includes 12 companies who have received multiple state and/or federal safety violation and whose workers suffered severe -- but preventable -- illness or injuries on the job.

Amazon earned the dubious distinction of being among the Dirty Dozen due to the deaths of seven workers at the company's warehouses since 2013. This "disturbing pattern of preventable deaths" included three workers killed during a single five-week period in 2017. The three deaths occurred at three different Amazon warehouse locations in as many states.

National COSH blames the deaths on the company's constant monitoring of its warehouse workers' productivity, which results in cut corners when it comes to safety. The emphasis on efficiency over safety in its warehouses has resulted in several warnings to Amazon. Any worker who has been injured while on the job at a warehouse facility in Connecticut should seek the advices of a lawyer with extensive workplace injury experience.

Source: National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, "The Dirty Dozen 2018: Employers who put workers and communities at risk," accessed on May 1, 2018.

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