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Amazon’s warehouse injury rates are so high that it faces a more costly workers’ comp classification

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Just last month, a stunning report showed how Amazon fulfillment centers across the country saw rising injury rates between 2016 and 2019, sourced from internal company data. And now, proposed legislation in Washington state would mean Amazon could pay a higher workers’ compensation premium than other warehouse-owning companies next year.

To make this happen, the state wants to put warehouses that function like Amazon’s into a separate risk classification. While the proposed classification for “fulfillment centers” doesn’t say the word Amazon anywhere, how they are defined seems to fit the description of the company:

Have an online marketplace to sell their own merchandise and third-party sellers’ merchandise;

Sell their own name brand merchandise retail online;

Offer warehousing and order fulfillment services for third-party sellers;

Use automated vehicles and robotics within the facility;

Emphasize quick timelines and monitor employee for speed; and

Offer same-day or two-day delivery options

Amazon is currently the only business covered by this new classification, Michael D. Ratko, the deputy assistant director of the Washington Department of Labor & Industries Insurance Services Division, told The Seattle Times.

The department found in 2019 that Amazon’s fulfillment centers had a growing share of injury claims and insurance costs compared to other warehouse operators, according to The Seattle Times. And although warehousing insurance premiums went up 18 percent in 2020, non-Amazon warehouse operators have been seeing their workers’ compensation claim rates move downward.

“Further review of the warehouse classification concluded that fulfillment centers were more hazardous and were submitting claims more often,” Ratko said to The Seattle Times.

This new “fulfillment centers” classification would have different a per-hour workers’ compensation premium than other warehouses. The proposed rates for 2021 would be 15 percent higher for Amazon and 20 percent lower for other warehouses than they were in 2020. Amazon’s new rate would be higher than those for mechanized logging operations, law enforcement agencies, and more than 260 other industries, according to The Seattle Times.

Amazon has not replied to a request for comment.

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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