Federal regulators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that three Amazon warehouse facilities had violated legislation designed to require employers to provide safe working environments. Investigations found that Amazon workers are at high risk for back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), especially in warehouse environments that prioritize speed over safety.
“While Amazon has developed impressive systems to make sure its customers’ orders are shipped efficiently and quickly, the company has failed to show the same level of commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of its workers,” osha.gov/news/newsreleases/national/01182023″ data-ylk=”slk:said” class=”link “said Doug Parker, an assistant secretary at OSHA.
Amazon must pay a $60,269 fine for the violations at warehouses in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York. As part of the same investigation, OSHA found in December that six Amazon warehouse facilities had failed to record and report worker injuries and illnesses. There are three similar, ongoing investigations at Amazon facilities in Colorado, Idaho and New York.
OSHA’s findings show an ongoing pattern of employee injuries, including stuck-by injuries while handling objects over 50 pounds. An example report from July reads, “crushing/smashing; face; furniture (61 lbs).” Another reads, “strain/sprain; lower leg; fitness equipment (148 lbs.)” The Florida warehouse was also cited for being too hot, which can potentially cause heat-related illness.
Amazon has on-site clinics called Amcare for employees who may suffer injuries on the job, but OSHA claims that these facilities can be prohibitive to workers receiving adequate medical care. Amazon employees told investigators that the Amcare clinic in Deltona, Florida, required injured workers to wait three weeks after an injury before they could be referred to a physician. OSHA also found that if an employee suffered head trauma and dizziness, they were not immediately referred to a physician.