Amazon ignored or dismissed safety concerns about its delivery network to prioritize speed and explosive growth, according to new documents and interviews with Amazon insiders and others.

Will Quincy resist Amazon’s siren song?
image via ProPublica

– News covered by Quincy Quarry News with commentary added.

Amazon chose speed over safety in building its delivery network.

With Amazon said to be considering setting up a distribution center in the currently vacant former Lowe’s home improvement center venue on Burgin Parkway and which would further clog up traffic in already ever increasingly traffic-congested Quincy, comes word of a further as well as grave concern: unsafe Amazon delivery truck drivers.

ProPublica, in conjunction with BuzzFeed News, just published the findings of its many months long investigative journalism review of Amazon driver training and safety practices and found them wanting. 

Follow the memos …
A Columbia Pictures file photo image

Repeatedly, ProPublica has uncovered all manner of Amazon’ internal memos and practices which indicate that time and time again, only proper delivery driver training practices were often slighted given Amazon’s desire to rapidly build up delivery capacity.

“Time after time, internal documents and interviews with company insiders show, Amazon officials have ignored or overlooked signs that the company was overloading its fast-growing delivery network while eschewing the expansive sort of training and oversight provided by a legacy carrier like UPS.”

Driver safety be damned?
A satirical meme

And noted in a memo written by a senior manager in the logistics division:

“We chose to not have onroad practical training because it was a bottleneck (that would keep new drivers off the road).”

In turn, the number of traffic fatalities tied to Amazon truck operators is both considerable as well as appears to above to well above the rates inflicted by peer delivery fleet operators.

Joy Covey, an Amazon driver accident victim
A Covey family photo via ProPublica

“Just as the company began to build its delivery network six years ago, a delivery van carrying Amazon packages struck a cyclist in a San Francisco suburb.  The cyclist was Joy Covey, Amazon’s first chief financial officer.  She was killed, leaving behind a young son.”

Any possible heartbreak among her former colleagues notwithstanding, the fatal crash did not alter the course Amazon was charting on delivery. 

In fact, the system Amazon has created relies on low-cost third-party contractors like the one involved in the crash that killed Covey and so insulates Amazon from financial and legal liability.

To find out just how arguably worse than indifferent Amazon has been in its striving for rapid growth and increased profits, read the whole report as well as consider checking out the links to related coverage.

Source: Inside Documents Show How Amazon Chose Speed Over Safety in Building Its Delivery Network — ProPublica

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