- Amazon delivery companies in the US are instructing workers to skip daily van inspections that ensure worker safety, CNBC reported.
- Workers from several US states have detailed instances where they went against safety protocol for fear of managerial retribution.
- Amazon is investigating these claims and their delivery networks, which the company has full power over.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Ten current and former drivers for delivery companies contracted by Amazon say they’ve been told by their managers ignore basic safety issues, like jamming doors, damaged seatbelts, low tire tread, busted rearview cameras, and broken mirrors.
Amazon contracts 2,000 private delivery firms through its DSP (delivery service partner) program, which accounts for 115,000 drivers in the US who help with the company’s daily fulfillment operations.
The ten current and former drivers described instances where there was active concern for their own safety while driving an Amazon van, but were unable to report it. “Once we arrive at the lot, we have to personally conduct a 60-point check on our vehicles before we get assigned to our routes,” a part-time Amazon DSP driver told Insider in April. Chastity Cook, a former DSP driver in Illinois said to CNBC, “[managers would] tell us, just make sure everything’s great and go. We just checked down the list. We don’t even stop to read it and make sure everything is there.”
Courier Express One, Cook’s former DSP employer, did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Amazon invests millions into safety mechanisms in their delivery network, including regular compliance auditing, two daily vehicle checks, and taking delivery vans out-of-service if they need maintenance. But it can costs a DSP potential deliveries and revenue.
According to the DSP program brochure, DSP fleet owners earn revenue based on a rate based on the length of a delivery route and a rate based on the number of successfully delivered packages. Vehicle costs, including routine maintenance, damages, and insurance, are deducted as ‘ongoing operation costs.’
Amazon has had issues in the past with its delivery drivers’ alleging disturbing working conditions, with drivers speaking out about missing wages and strenuous shifts.
“When safety protocol is broken, we take various actions including ending our relationship with a DSP if warranted,” Amazon said in a statement made to Insider. “We’re actively investigating the experiences in [the CNBC] story and don’t believe they are representative of the more than 150,000 drivers that safely deliver packages every day.”
“The safety of drivers and communities is our top priority and the vast majority of DSPs and drivers share that commitment,” Amazon added.