Its own coronavirus testing lab will be made by the retail giant Amazon in order to effectively monitor the health of its staff, the largest e-commerce company of the world said.
More than 50 facilities of Amazon throughout the United States have reported confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, with some of the facilities reporting multiple infections among Amazon workers.
In order to build its own “incremental testing capacity”, a team has been assembled by it, the company said.
Its staff had previously criticized Amazon for not being proactive enough with respect to its response to the coronavirus pandemic. A warehouse worker in a New York was fired by the company in March for organizing a protest over a lack of safety precautions for its workers that had been taken by the company. A memo from a meeting of Amazon executives was leaked later on to the media. It said: “We should spend the first part of our response strongly laying out the case for why the organiser’s conduct was immoral, unacceptable, arguably illegal, in detail, and only then follow with our usual talking points about worker safety.”
In response Amazon wrote in a blog that it had made more than 150 “significant process changes” in response to coronavirus. “Our operations sites and grocery stores are distributing masks to employees and conducting employee temperature checks,” the company said.
“A next step might be regular testing of all employees, including those showing no symptoms. Regular testing on a global scale across all industries would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running.”
Because of the limited number of testing kits and facilities, the company had been forced to assemble a team of its own employees to develop its own facility, Amazon said.
“We have begun assembling the equipment we need to build our first lab and hope to start testing small numbers of our front line employees soon. We are not sure how far we will get in the relevant timeframe, but we think it’s worth trying, and we stand ready to share anything we learn with others.”
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating at least one such Amazon testing facility over concerns of the company not doing enough to safeguard employees, said a report published in the news site Bloomberg.
products from manufacturers are received by the Pennsylvania warehouse of the company and the products are then sent to smaller Amazon warehouses around the US.
(Adapted from BBC.com)