How Amazon prioritises health and safety while fulfilling customer orders
Now more than ever, Amazon's fulfilment and delivery networks play a critical role in serving customers. In these unprecedented times, we remain committed to the health and safety of our employees, partners, and the customers we serve.
As Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon, recently said: “Amazon associates and partners working in our operations network are among the many heroes of the COVID-19 crisis. Whether it’s fulfilling orders in one of our fulfilment centres, delivering an order to a customer’s doorstep, or one of the many roles in between, we couldn’t be more proud of the critical role our teams are serving by enabling people to stay safe at home while receiving the products they need.
“Nothing is more important to us than making sure that we protect the health of our teams, and we’ve been working around the clock since the early days of the outbreak to make changes to our processes and procure the necessary supplies for this.”
With guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), we've implemented a series of preventative health measures at our sites around the world to help keep our employees, partners, and customers safe. To date, we've made over 150 significant process changes to ensure the health and safety of our Amazon teams.
Health measures in our logistics locations
Through the measures we worked rapidly to implement, we expect to spend more than $800 million in the first half of the year on COVID‑19 safety measures. This includes purchasing items like masks, hand sanitiser, thermal cameras, thermometers, sanitising wipes, gloves, and additional handwashing stations, as well as using disinfectant spraying in buildings, procuring COVID‑19 testing supplies, and hiring more janitorial staff.
We’re also spending over $85 million redeploying team members from their typical roles to performing safety related tasks and audits at sites around the world. This includes team members who are “social distancing ambassadors” helping with temperature checks.
- We distributed personal protective gear, such as masks for our employees, and implemented disinfectant spraying and temperature checks across our operations worldwide.
- We have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites, including regular sanitisation of door handles, handrails, touch screens, scanners, and other frequently touched areas. We're also requiring employees and delivery service partners to clean and disinfect their work stations.
- We've adjusted our practices so that our fulfilment centre employees can maintain a safer distance from co-workers. This includes eliminating stand-up meetings during shifts. Instead, business-essential information is shared via white boards near main areas and through conversations with managers or HR team members. We've staggered shift start times and break times, spread out tables in the break rooms on site, and suspended exit screening to ensure ease of movement near main entrances. We've shifted trainings so we don’t have employees gathering in one spot, we’ve adjusted our hiring process to encourage social distancing, and we've paused hosting public guests in our buildings.
- Employee communications include requirements that everyone wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, alcohol-based hand sanitiser stations are easily accessible throughout our buildings. In addition to break times, employees are invited to log out of their system to wash their hands whenever they choose, which has no impact on their performance.
- We’re conducting daily audits of the new health and safety measures we’ve put into place. We’ve shared some of the photos of these measures here. We also assigned some of our top machine learning technologists to capture opportunities to improve social distancing in our buildings using our internal camera systems. With over 1,000 sites around the world, and so many measures and precautions rapidly rolled out over the past several weeks, there may be instances where we don’t get it perfect, but I can assure you that’s just what they’ll be — exceptions.
- If any employee feels unwell, they must stay home. All Amazon employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of additional paid time off, so they can get healthy without worrying about lost income. If someone is diagnosed, we connect with any individual that had close contact with that person at the site to ask them to stay home for a 14-day paid quarantine period.
- With the closure of schools and childcare centers all over the world, we're working with employees at our fulfilment centres, sortation centres, and delivery stations so they can stay connected with family. We've enabled a temporary mobile phone process for those who need to be in contact with their families or childcare providers.
In partnership with the British Chamber of Commerce, we opened the doors of ten fulfilment centres across the UK to up to 1,000 businesses, so they can see the practical reality of working safely and effectively throughout the coronavirus pandemic as lockdown restrictions ease. Find out more here.
Health measures for delivery service partners, delivery associates, and Flex drivers
- We've provided a detailed list of procedures for our network of delivery partners that are focused on their health and safety, and that of our customers.
- At the start and end of routes, delivery associates and Flex delivery partners must use disinfectant wipes to clean all frequently touched surfaces in their vehicles and other work equipment, including things like keys, steering wheel, buttons, and delivery devices.
- We've also instructed them to refrain from shaking hands or having any other physical contact with customers, and maintain a safe distance from customers at all times.
- We've asked that delivery associates and Flex delivery partners wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. They should use a tissue to cover a cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the trash, then wash their hands. Work uniforms (including work gloves) must be washed daily.
- We've urged all delivery service partners and drivers to stay home if they feel sick or have a fever. They must be fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before returning to work. And like we’re doing with all individuals, we are supporting people if they need time off.
Health measures for corporate employees in the UK
We continue to encourage all employees in roles that can be done from home, to continue to work from home.
As we welcome those employees who prefer to work from the office over the coming weeks, we have enhanced measures in place to keep everyone safe.
- As with all our other locations, we’ve enhanced cleaning procedures in our corporate offices.
- We’ve reduced the building capacities and limited the available workstations and meeting rooms to ensure employees are able to socially distance.
- We’ve introduced temperature screening and hand sanitiser stations.
- We’ve enhanced health and safety signage throughout our offices and introduced marked one-way routes in high traffic areas.
- We’ve introduced signage encouraging all employees to wash their hands frequently.
Thank you Amazon teams
To all our Amazon teams on the floor, and on the road - thank you.