Amazon Fails to Protect Workers from Dog Bites
Recent reports indicate that Amazon drivers are being bit by dogs while making deliveries at alarming rates, and Amazon is not only unprepared to send someone to help or replace them, with drivers continuing to deliver for hours afterward until someone can be called in to take their place, but then also asking these victims why they are behind on their routes post-injury and sending these drivers back to the same locations where they were bit as early as the next day.
Last year, one worker was even killed while making deliveries after being attacked by dogs; According to the police report, he suffered a tremendous amount of trauma to his body due to the bites.
Also of concern is the fact that while Amazon claims that they train drivers to use precaution and avoid delivering a package if they feel unsafe in the presence of a dog, they can also face disciplinary action if they fall behind on their delivery schedules or fail to deliver all of their packages, revealing contradictory messaging from Amazon when it comes to prioritizing worker safety.
Inadequate Training & No Tools
In addition to failing to provide a proper response when these incidents occur, workers have described inadequate training and preparation, such as being prohibited from carrying self-defense sprays.
Amazon’s public response is that they tell drivers to practice dog avoidance and immediately seek assistance if they see any signs that a dog is present at a delivery location, such as an outside water bowl. They also claim that they provide safe training as part of driver onboarding and throughout their time with the company, which includes pet awareness and avoidance topics, as well as communicating to drivers that they should not deliver in circumstances where they feel unsafe.
While Amazon does provide an app that allows drivers to warn future drivers about the presence of dogs at certain delivery locations, and contact the customer so that they can secure their dog, there is no tool that appears to address how drivers should avoid attacks and what they should do if they are attacked. If the customer fails to respond, drivers are instructed to “call Support.”
A number of drivers reported that they were told to “jingle” or “jiggle” their keys while approaching a house to alert any potential dogs of their presence, as well as keeping their arms at their sides, an eye on the dog, and placing the package between themselves and the dog for protection, if necessary.
What About Partner Delivery Services, like UPS, USPS, & FedEx?
Given that Amazon delivers packages in conjunction with the major mail delivery services, such as UPS, FedEx, and USPS, how does liability work in terms of what those companies are doing to protect the drivers they employ?
Amazon’s response arguably fails to conform to what others in the industry are doing: The United States Postal Service (USPS), for example, reportedly allows and even encourages mail carriers to use pepper spray, and is careful to address all necessary registrations.
UPS, however, reportedly does not have a dog bite policy, even though dog bites are one of the most common hazards delivery drivers face in 2023. They do reportedly provide training, and they provide a system to mark a package that cannot be safely delivered due to the presence of a dog, whereby the package must then be picked up by the customer. FedEx reportedly has workers file workers’ compensation claims to cover their injuries and any financial loss experienced due to the injury.
If You’ve Been Bit, Contact Our Las Vegas Dog Bite Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, our Las Vegas dog bite attorneys can help: Contact Cameron Law today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team to find out more.