How Amazon India is prioritizing the health and safety of associates and delivery partners
Now more than ever, Amazon's fulfillment, delivery, and physical store 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.
"We've changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering essential items like household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, and medical supplies," Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos said in a recent email to all employees. "We're providing a vital service to people everywhere, especially to those, like the elderly, who are most vulnerable. People are depending on us."
We have adjusted our practices within our buildings through physical, virtual, and new formats for internal communications. With guidance from local authorities , and 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.
Amazon fulfillment centers, sortation centers, and delivery stations
Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we are committed to continue making adjustments to our business as we learn more.
We have mandated temperature checks at all fulfilment centres, sort centres and delivery stations in India in an effort to ensure that employees, associates, partners and support staff are healthy when they arrive at work. Anyone registering a temperature over 99.5F will be asked to return home and only come back to work after they’ve gone three days without a fever. At this point we will be testing thousands of people daily.
Personal protective equipment
We have reusable masks available now to Amazon associates, delivery service partners, Amazon Flex participants and other partners in our fulfilment network. These masks are available in all locations. All our associates are mandated to cover their nose and mouth from arrival through departure of their shifts at our sites, and also when they are out on the road during deliveries.
Increased frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites
We have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning at all sites, including regular sanitization of door handles, handrails, touch screens, scanners, and other frequently touched areas. We're cleaning and disinfecting work stations regularly
We are consulting with health authorities and medical experts on how to handle building closures for deep cleaning, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Our process evaluates where the employee was in the building, for how long, how much time has passed since they were onsite, and who they interacted with, among other items, in determining whether we need to close. We also ask anyone at the site who was in close contact with the diagnosed individual to stay home with pay for 14-days in self-quarantine.
Maintaining safe distance at work
We've adjusted our practices so that our fulfillment center teams 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 visitors in our buildings.
Raising awareness among our associates
We are raising awareness among our associates through regular communication which includes 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 sanitizer stations are easily accessible throughout our buildings.
With the closure of schools, we're working with employees at our fulfillment centers, sortation centers, and delivery stations so they can stay connected with family. We've enabled a temporary cell phone process for those who need to be in contact with their families.
If any associate feels unwell, they must stay home and call their healthcare provider. All associates diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine will receive up to two weeks of additional paid time off and medical support from ESIC as per the guidelines issued by the labor department of the respective state governments, 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.
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 clean all frequently touched surfaces in their vehicles and delivery devices.
We've also instructed them to refrain from shaking hands with customers, and maintain a minimum two-meter 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 sanitizer.
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 72 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.
Amazon has extended the ‘Amazon Relief Fund’ in India to associates part of the Delivery Service Partner Program, Amazon Flex program and it’s trucking partners providing middle mile logistics support in the event of financial hardships. This fund can be utilized by qualifying individuals who have been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19.