Amazon has rejected claims it has a poor health and safety record after the publication of figures showing that more than 440 serious incidents occurred at its warehouses in the period from 2015/16.

HSE investigation reports, obtained by the GMB Union under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed fractures, contusions and head injuries to staff, the union has claimed.

In one incident a worker in Leicestershire suffered internal bruising after being knocked down and wedged under an HGV. The report said the unsafe driving manoeuvre leading to the accident was “not an uncommon practice”.

Also, a Sunderland courier-driver complained that Amazon and its contractors “create an environment of fear to speak out in matters that risk our lives and the lives of the general public on the road”.

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In Peterborough a member of the public said delivery drivers had been forced to wait for eight to 10 hours in an unheated room.

However, a statement from Amazon said the HSE figures showed the company has 43% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies in the UK.

It added: “Amazon is a safe place to work and reports to the contrary are simply wrong.

“Amazon has created more than 25,000 good jobs with good pay and benefits across Britain and we are proud of the work they do on behalf of customers every day.

“Safety is one of the reasons LinkedIn recently ranked Amazon number seven on its UK top companies list.”