Federal security inspectors have concluded that the twisting, bending and lengthy reaches that Amazon warehouse employees carry out as a lot as 9 occasions per minute put them at excessive danger for decrease again accidents and different musculoskeletal problems and represent an unacceptable hazard.
As half of a bigger investigation into hazardous working situations, the Occupational Security and and Well being Administration introduced on Wednesday it has cited Amazon for failing to maintain employees protected at warehouses in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York.
“Whereas Amazon has developed spectacular techniques to ensure its clients’ orders are shipped effectively and shortly, the corporate has failed to point out the identical stage of dedication to defending the security and wellbeing of its employees,” stated Assistant Secretary for Occupational Security and Well being Doug Parker.
The e-commerce big faces a complete of $60,269 in proposed penalties, the utmost allowable for a violation of the Normal Responsibility Clause of the Occupational Security and Well being Act, which requires employers to offer a office free from acknowledged hazards.
Amazon has 15 days to contest OSHA’s findings.
“We take the security and well being of our staff very significantly, and we strongly disagree with these allegations and intend to attraction,” stated Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel in a press release.
“Our publicly obtainable knowledge present we have diminished harm charges almost 15% between 2019 and 2021,” Nantel added. “What’s extra, the overwhelming majority of our staff inform us they really feel our office is protected.”
Parker famous that willful or repeated violations by an employer can result in larger penalties. He stated that there aren’t any ergonomic-related violations in Amazon’s historical past that put the corporate on observe for the “extreme violator program,” however with additional inspections, that would change.
In December, OSHA cited Amazon for greater than a dozen recordkeeping violations, together with failing to report accidents, as a part of the identical investigation.
Inspectors in contrast DART charges — days away from work, job restrictions or transfers — throughout the warehouse trade and at Amazon services, and located the charges had been unusually excessive on the three Amazon warehouses.
On the Amazon success middle in Waukegan, Illinois, the place employees deal with packages in extra of fifty kilos, the DART price was almost double the DART price for the trade on the whole, and on the Amazon services in New York and Florida, it was triple.
The DART price for the trade on the whole was 4.7 accidents per 100 employees per 12 months in 2021, Parker stated.
Inspectors additionally discovered that employees are prone to being struck by falling supplies unsafely saved at heights of 30 ft or larger on the Florida facility.
Ought to the federal government prevail, Amazon can be required not solely to pay the fines but in addition to right the violations, which Parker famous, may lead to vital investments in re-engineering their processes to offer employees with a safer working surroundings.
Editor’s word: Amazon is amongst World’s latest monetary supporters.