Amazon cited for OSHA violations in New York, Colorado and Idaho

Federal regulators reported three safety violations to Amazon this week, saying workers at its warehouses in three states are spending too many hours repeatedly lifting heavy packages.

The Warehouses in Aurora, Colorado; Nampa, Idaho; and Castleton, New York, put workers at “high risk” of lower back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The citations come less than a month after the agency had cited Amazon for similar security risks at three other camps in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York.

“Amazon’s operating methods create hazardous working conditions and processes that result in serious injury to workers,” OSHA Assistant Secretary Doug Parker said in a statement. “You must take these violations seriously and implement a company-wide strategy to protect your employees from these known and preventable hazards.”

Some injuries likely went unreported because first-aid clinics at Amazon warehouses were understaffed, the OSHA investigation also found.

Amazon violated the General Duty Clause, a regulation enacted in 1970 that requires employers to provide a workplace free of hazards that could result in serious injury or death. The company has 14 days to fix the stock violations or face a $46,875 fine, OSHA said.

Amazon workers union leader speaks about NYC success


Amazon plans to appeal the fine, the company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch on Thursday

“We have worked with the government on their investigation and shown how we are working to mitigate risk and protect our people,” spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said. “We also know that there is always more to do and we will keep working to get better every day.”

In OSHA citations issued last month, safety agencies found workers constantly bending, twisting, and lifting while running to move heavy packages to and from carts, conveyor belts, trailers, and high shelves. Workers were clocked to perform these repetitive movements up to nine times per minute.

Amazon faces fines of $60,269 for violations at these camps.

Amazon warehouse workers have complained for years about the tedious pace of filling orders and shipping boxes around the world. The grueling conditions prompted workers in New York to create the company’s first unionized workforce in April last year, and also prompted workers in Britain to stage a strike last Friday.

Amazon has said its warehouses are no more dangerous than other retailers and that its injury rates are in line with industry rates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

| |
Back to top button