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- A Labor Department agency cited Amazon’s failure to provide safe workplaces at its warehouse facilities, adding to the penalties already facing the company in an ongoing investigation, according to a news release Wednesday.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators have found that Amazon warehouse workers are at increased risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders. Due to how often it needs to be lifted, the length of time it takes to complete the task, and other issues.
- Amazon faces a total of $60,269 in proposed penalties related to violations. Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said in a statement that the company “strongly” disagrees with the allegations and intends to appeal.
The citations released Wednesday fuel further complaints about Amazon’s warehouse safety record and employee workload. OSHA named Amazon for recordkeeping violations related to work-related injuries and illnesses in December.
Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in a statement, “Each of these inspections uncovers work processes that are designed for speed but are unsafe, leading to serious worker injuries. “Amazon has developed excellent systems to ensure that customer orders are shipped efficiently and quickly, but it has the same level of commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of its employees.” could not be shown.”
According to one citation from a warehouse inspection in New Windsor, New York, employees were exposed to ergonomic hazards during the package loading process.
“The high frequency of lifts and the height of the storage shelves put employees at risk of back and shoulder injuries,” the subpoena, issued Tuesday, said.
To reduce the risk of injury during the stowage process, Amazon says it can eliminate totes stored at floor level and let machines do some or all of the process, among other means. Quoted.
The OSHA investigation also found that an employee at a facility in Waukegan, Illinois, was injured after being struck by a heavy load after manually losing control of the load. Examples of injuries include broken legs from 55 lbs of luggage and ‘crushed/thumped’ facial injuries from 61 lbs of furniture. The agency did not issue a citation for this issue, instead recommending that Amazon voluntarily take steps to address this issue.
Nantel said the government’s claims do not reflect the reality of Amazon’s site safety, and added that it would share further progress it has made to reduce injuries during the appeals process.
“Over the past few months, we have demonstrated the extent to which we are working every day to mitigate risk and protect our employees. Publicly available data shows a 15% injury rate between 2019 and 2021. It shows a near-term decline,” said Nantel. “Additionally, the majority of employees say they feel safe in their workplace.”
The quote comes from OSHA’s ongoing investigation of six Amazon warehouses in five states that began last summer. The agency has yet to finish digging into Amazon’s operations — the alleged violations announced Wednesday relate to inspections at three facilities in Florida, Illinois and New York. It’s ongoing in three different locations in Idaho and New York.