Amazon is going on the offense against workplace injuries.
Amazon is contributing $12 million to the National Safety Council to launch a five-year partnership with the group to invent new ways to prevent common musculoskeletal injuries such as sprains and strains. Musculoskeletal disorders, which include sprains and strains, are the largest category of U.S. workplace injuries. Such injuries have reportedly been on the rise in Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
The partnership will aim to prevent MSDs across a variety of industries by engaging key stakeholders, conducting research, inventing new technology and processes, and scaling the results. It kicks off in June during National Safety Month and in its first year will focus on launching an advisory council, identifying research partners, analyzing existing data and developing grant and “Innovation Challenge” programs.
The research component will include utilizing next-generation artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning tools to explore current and future MSD innovations and trends. The research will be available to all industries to explore and glean insights, Amazon said.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our employees, and this partnership will allow us to dive deep into the best way to reduce MSDs,” said Heather MacDougall, Amazon’s VP of worldwide workplace health and safety. “National Safety Council has a long history of advancing safe practices in the workplace, and we look forward to working alongside them as well as many other businesses, experts, and students around the world to innovate and solve for this important issue.”
In a statement, NSC president and CEO Lorraine Martin said the partnership would “solve the problems people face every day and help them live their lives to the fullest.” The Amazon contribution is the largest corporate contribution that the NSC has received.