When coronavirus started to take a hold of the world in March, the world’s leading E-commerce marketplace proved that it cares for its hard-working employees across the world. In the months that followed, Amazon rolled out new practices and put measures in place to protect its staff members from coronavirus.
In this article, we will review the steps that Amazon has taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across Amazon fulfilment centres and warehouses.
The building of a coronavirus testing lab for employees
In April, Amazon announced that they had assembled a team of research scientists, program managers and procurement specialists to build their own coronavirus testing facility. They did this to make it possible for employees with and without symptoms to be tested. A spokesperson for Amazon said in a blog post “Regular testing on a global scale across all industries would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running.”
The changing of delivery practices to protect delivery drivers
To protect both their drivers and customers, in April Amazon informed UK customers that its delivery drivers will not knock on doors or ring any doorbells unless an order requires an ID check. They said that delivery packages will instead be left on a doorstep or in a safe place. When this measure was put in place, Amazon said “We place tremendous value and focus on the wellbeing of our associates, delivery partners and customers.”
The introduction of face masks and temperature checks for workers across US and Europe
In April it was reported that Amazon made temperature checks and face masks available for all staff across warehouses in the US and Europe to combat coronavirus. In order for this new practice to go ahead, the E-commerce giant ordered millions of surgical masks which were provided to employees, and it began to also test the temperatures of hundreds of thousands of employees. At this point, Amazon was starting to make changes every week to prioritise the safety of its workers.
The deployment of thermal cameras in warehouses
Another important change that Amazon made in April was the introduction of thermal cameras across warehouses to detect the temperatures of workers. The cameras were deployed to indicate whether any members of warehouse staff have a fever, and they did this by using special heat intelligence technology which measures how much heat humans emit in comparison with their surroundings.
A coronavirus tracking tool for fulfilment employees
In May, a smart tool was released by Amazon which made it possible for workers in fulfilment centres and warehouses to track and report the number of coronavirus cases in their facilities. This system uses information reported by employees to provide an accurate number of how many members of staff have been diagnosed with coronavirus. An Amazon spokesperson said “We’re doing all that we can to protect our employees and take the proper precautions as stated in WHO guidelines.”
“Distance Assistant” system
Amazon announced that it is in the process of introducing a “Distance Assistant” system across its distribution and fulfilment centres in June – this is designed to help workers to adhere to the social distancing measures that are in place. The system uses augmented reality and artificial intelligence to create a ‘mirror-like’ tool which differentiates people from their surroundings. Amazon’s leader of robotics initiatives, Brad Porter, has said “Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our employees and we’ll continue to innovate to keep them as safe as possible.”
Overall, Amazon has shown social responsibility by harnessing technology
After studying the precautions Amazon has taken in the last three months, it can be concluded that they have put the needs of their staff first and have utilised science and technology in order to ensure that their facilities are COVID-free zones. Amazon has also proven that even small changes can go a long way in preventing the spread of infection, such as drivers leaving packages on doorsteps instead of handing them directly to the customer.
As the world’s leading E-commerce platform, we are certain that Amazon will continue to work hard to protect their workplaces further in the coming months.
Are you following in Amazon’s footsteps?
What measures has your business put in place to protect your employees from coronavirus? Let us know in the comments section below, or by sharing this article on social media!
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