Washington L&I Cites Amazon’s Spokane Warehouse for Safety Hazards

Washington L&I Cites Amazon’s Spokane Warehouse for Safety Hazards

The e-commerce giant now faces $85,800 in fines.

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has identified safety concerns at an Amazon fulfillment center.

In a release dated August 16, L&I announced the results of its inspection of the Amazon facility in Spokane, Washington. The agency determined the location puts workers at ergonomic risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) due to the necessity for physical work involving repetitive motions and lifting at a fast pace.

The Spokane fulfillment center faces three serious and one general violation for high noise levels without hearing protection for employees in addition to the risk of WMSDs. As a result, L&I cited Amazon must pay $85,800 in fines.

Such violations are nothing new for Amazon, as L&I previously issued similar citations at three other locations across Washington. Because of this, the Spokane violations carry the higher penalty of being designated willful. While this mirrors similar concerns at Amazon facilities nationwide, the Spokane location has the highest injury rates of any in Washington state.

“Perhaps more than any other company, Amazon has the means and the know-how to invest in solutions that keep their workers safe,” Craig Blackwood, assistant director for L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said in a statement.

Amazon now has 15 days to appeal L&I’s decision. The company currently has active appeals in three previous cases.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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