Amazon Cited After Workers at More Warehouses Found Exposed to Ergonomic Hazards

Amazon Cited After Workers at More Warehouses Found Exposed to Ergonomic Hazards

OSHA also proposed penalties of $46,875 following inspections in Colorado, Idaho and New York.

OSHA has another delivery for Amazon: more citations.

The agency announced it once again cited the company “for failing to keep workers safe,” just two weeks after OSHA’s most recent citations for the e-commerce company, according to a news release.

Workers were found exposed to ergonomic hazards at three warehouses: one in Aurora, Colorado; one in Nampa, Idaho; and one in Castleton, New York, per the news release. This hazard was also partially the focus of the previous citations for warehouses in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York.

Workers at all of these locations were found at what the agency calls a “high risk” of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are linked to:

  • “High frequency with which employees must lift packages and other items.
  • Heavy weight of the items handled by workers.
  • Employees awkwardly twisting, bending and extending themselves to lift items.
  • Long hours required to complete assigned tasks.”

On-site injury logs also showed that “Amazon warehouse workers experienced high rates of musculoskeletal disorders,” according to the news release.

“Amazon’s operating methods are creating hazardous work conditions and processes, leading to serious worker injuries,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker in the news release. “They need to take these injuries seriously and implement a company-wide strategy to protect their employees from these well-known and preventable hazards.”

The company faces $46,875 in proposed penalties for the most recent citations and was also issued hazard alert letters.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel stated the following in a statement:We take the safety and health of our employees very seriously, and we don’t believe the government’s allegations reflect the reality of safety at our sites. We’ve cooperated with the government through its investigation and have demonstrated how we work to mitigate risks and keep our people safe, and our publicly available data show we reduced injury rates in the U.S. nearly 15% between 2019 and 2021. We also know there will always be more to do, and we’ll continue working to get better every day.”

Amazon intends to appeal the citations, the company said.

Photo credit: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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