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Amazon warehouses earn spot on list of most dangerous workplaces

Consumers in New Jersey enjoy the convenience of ordering merchandise online at Amazon, but they are insulated from the reportedly difficult working conditions endured by employees at Amazon warehouses. The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health has placed the online retail giant on its "dirty dozen" list of the most dangerous workplaces in the country.

The organization cited the deaths of seven workers since 2013 within the company's system of 140 domestic fulfillment centers. Three people died in one five-week period in several warehouses last year. Reports from workers and former workers describe a management that is hostile to people who suffer injuries. One lawsuit filed by a 43-year-old man claims that the company refused to acknowledge his report about a back injury and initiate a workers' compensation claim. A manager allegedly said that the employee was too young to have a back injury and promptly fired him.

Another former employee reported a job injury, and the company fired him five weeks later. Warehouse workers often quit because of exhausting work that leaves them too fatigued to continue. An investigation sponsored by a news organization found that the grueling conditions frequently result in workers ending up too injured to work and even becoming homeless.

Mandatory workers' compensation insurance provided by employers is meant to prevent people from falling into financial hardship after work-related injuries. A person who wants to know about available insurance coverage after a workplace accident might choose to consult an attorney instead of relying on information from an employer. An attorney may be able to access the insurance policy and inform the person about available benefits. Legal support may include preparing insurance paperwork and challenging attempts by the employer or insurer to dispute the claim. For a person facing disability, an attorney might file a lawsuit to pursue a sufficient settlement.

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