Amazon cited by OSHA for failing to maintain warehouse employees protected


Dive Temporary:

  • A Division of Labor company cited Amazon for failing to offer a protected office in its warehouse amenities, including to the penalties the corporate already faces in an ongoing investigation, in keeping with a information launch Wednesday.
  • Investigators with the Occupational Security and Well being Administration discovered Amazon warehouse employees to be at excessive threat for decrease again accidents and different musculoskeletal issues. That is because of the frequency employees are required to raise packages and different objects, lengthy hours required to finish duties and different points, per the discharge.
  • Amazon faces a complete of $60,269 in proposed penalties tied to the violations. The corporate “strongly” disagrees with the allegations and intends to enchantment, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel stated in a press release.

Dive Perception:

The citations introduced Wednesday add additional gasoline to complaints about Amazon’s warehouse security file and worker workload. OSHA already cited Amazon for recordkeeping violations on work-related accidents and diseases in December.

“Every of those inspections discovered work processes that had been designed for pace however not security, and so they resulted in critical employee accidents,” Assistant Secretary for Occupational Security and Well being Doug Parker stated of the latest citations in a press release. “Whereas Amazon has developed spectacular methods to verify its clients’ orders are shipped effectively and rapidly, the corporate has failed to indicate the identical stage of dedication to defending the security and well-being of its employees.”

One quotation stemming from a New Windsor, New York, warehouse inspection stated workers had been uncovered to ergonomic hazards in the course of the package deal stowing course of.

“The excessive frequency of lifts and peak of stow cabinets positioned workers in danger for low again and shoulder accidents,” stated the quotation, which was issued Tuesday.

To cut back the harm threat in the course of the stowing course of, the quotation stated Amazon might get rid of totes saved at flooring peak and have machines tackle some or all the course of, amongst different measures.

OSHA’s investigation additionally discovered that workers in a Waukegan, Illinois, facility are being struck and injured by heavy packages after dropping management of them in the course of the guide dealing with course of. Harm examples embrace a foot fracture from a 55-pound package deal and a “crushing/smashing” face harm from 61 kilos of furnishings. The company didn’t subject a quotation on the matter, as an alternative recommending Amazon voluntarily take steps to deal with it.

Nantel stated the federal government’s allegations do not mirror the truth of security at Amazon websites, including that the corporate will share extra in the course of the enchantment course of about developments it has made to additional scale back accidents.

“Over the past a number of months we’ve demonstrated the extent to which we work daily to mitigate threat and shield our individuals, and our publicly accessible information present we’ve decreased harm charges practically 15% between 2019 and 2021,” Nantel stated. “What’s extra, the overwhelming majority of our workers inform us they really feel our office is protected.”

The citations stem from OSHA’s continued investigation into six Amazon warehouses in 5 states, which started this previous summer season. The company is not completed digging into Amazon’s operations but — the alleged violations introduced Wednesday are tied to inspections at three amenities in Florida, Illinois and New York. Comparable investigations are ongoing at three totally different areas in Colorado, Idaho and New York.

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