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Amazon -- a dangerous place to work claims watchdog

by on19 January 2023

Health and Safety, Amazon has heard about it

Amazon is in trouble with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, which claims the company violated safety laws and failed to keep workers in three warehouses safe.

The regulator has also proposed $60,269 in penalties related to the violations which is unlikely to make Amazon managers cry too much but it is one of the highest OSHA has issued before.

Three warehouses located in Deltona, Florida, Waukegan, Illinois, and New Windsor, New York “exposed workers to ergonomic, struck-by hazards” in the location, putting them at “high risk for lower back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders,” OSHA said.

OSHA's   Doug Parker blamed the pace that Amazon insists its warehouse employees follow.

“Each of these inspections found work processes that were designed for speed but not safety... the system at the warehouses seemed geared toward getting packages shipped out rather than worker safety," Parker said.

Amazon doesn’t agree with OSHA’s latest allegations spokesperson Kelly Nantel said that Amazon took safety and health of our employees very seriously, and it would appeal.

Nantel also cites an improvement in the company’s injury rates between 2019 and 2021 (a claim similar to one Amazon made in response to the 2022 SOC report) and says that “We look forward to sharing more during our appeal about the numerous safety innovations, process improvements, and investments we’re making to further reduce injuries.”

According to OSHA, Amazon received citations for 14 record-keeping violations last year for “failing to record injuries and illnesses, misclassifying injuries and illnesses, not recording injuries and illnesses within the required time, and not providing OSHA with timely injury and illness records.” Those came with proposed fines of around $29,008 and were part of the same investigation as the citations announced Wednesday.

OSHA says that it’s also conducting investigations at three other Amazon warehouses in Aurora, Colorado, Nampa, Idaho, and Castleton, New York, after the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York referred it to do so last summer.


Last modified on 19 January 2023
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