The Occupational Security and Well being Administration, or OSHA, has issued a quotation in opposition to Amazon, alleging that the corporate violated security legal guidelines and didn’t maintain staff in three warehouses secure. The regulator has additionally proposed $60,269 in penalties associated to the violations — a drop within the bucket for a corporation that recorded over $127 billion in sales during the third quarter of 2022 alone however a comparatively excessive penalty in comparison with most of the ones it confronted from OSHA earlier than.
Amazon’s OSHA positive for warehouse security violations may very well be about $60K
According to a press release, the quotation stems from inspections at three warehouses situated in Deltona, Florida, Waukegan, Illinois, and New Windsor, New York. OSHA says that Amazon “uncovered staff to ergonomic, struck-by hazards” within the location, placing them at “excessive threat for decrease again accidents and different musculoskeletal issues.”
Doug Parker, assistant secretary for Occupational Security and Well being, laid a part of the blame on the tempo that Amazon units for its warehouse workers. “Every of those inspections discovered work processes that had been designed for velocity however not security,” he mentioned, mentioning that the system on the warehouses appeared geared towards getting packages shipped out somewhat than employee security.
It’s a criticism Amazon has confronted for years, together with from OSHA itself. Final 12 months, advocacy group The Strategic Organizing Middle launched a report saying that Amazon staff make up a disproportionately high percentage of all warehouse industry injuries within the US. Exterior of the warehouse, a 2019 report from Buzzfeed and ProPublica accused the corporate of trading safety for speed in its delivery network, and that time was reiterated last year by the SOC.
An announcement from the activist group Athena Coalition quotes Daniel Olayiwola, an Amazon warehouse worker in San Antonio: “OSHA’s findings are a mirrored image of the expertise of Amazon staff like me in warehouses everywhere in the nation.” Olayiwola says that staff have been “talking out for years in regards to the grueling tempo of labor and exploitative insurance policies that straight trigger burnout, extreme stress on our our bodies, and unsafe conditions.”
For its half, Amazon doesn’t agree with OSHA’s newest allegations. “We take the security and well being of our workers very severely, and we strongly disagree with these allegations and intend to attraction,” reads an announcement from spokesperson Kelly Nantel. “We’ve cooperated absolutely, and the federal government’s allegations don’t replicate the truth of security at our websites.” Nantel additionally cites an enchancment within the firm’s harm charges between 2019 and 2021 (a declare just like one Amazon made in response to the 2022 SOC report) and says that “We sit up for sharing extra throughout our attraction in regards to the quite a few security improvements, course of enhancements, and investments we’re making to additional scale back accidents.”
In keeping with OSHA, Amazon acquired citations for 14 record-keeping violations final 12 months for “failing to report accidents and sicknesses, misclassifying accidents and sicknesses, not recording accidents and sicknesses inside the required time, and never offering OSHA with well timed harm and sickness data.” These got here with proposed fines of round $29,008 and had been a part of the identical investigation because the citations introduced Wednesday.
The regulator dinging Amazon is uncommon however not unparalleled. The corporate acquired a quotation in 2015 for failing to correctly report work-related accidents and sicknesses, in addition to a handful of covid-related citations in 2020.
OSHA says that it’s additionally conducting investigations at three different Amazon warehouses in Aurora, Colorado, Nampa, Idaho, and Castleton, New York, after the US Legal professional’s Workplace for the Southern District of New York referred it to take action final summer time.