Amazon Fined $60,000 For Violation of Workers’ Safety at Warehouses

Amazon Fined $60,000 For Violation of Workers’ Safety at Warehouses

E-commerce giant Amazon has been fined the sum of $60,000 after Federal Regulators from Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA) found it guilty of violating workers safety.

OSHA disclosed that three of the company’s warehouse facilities violated legislation designed to require employers to provide safety working environments.

After thorough investigations, it was discovered that workers at the e-commerce company were vulnerable to back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders (Mass) especially in warehouse environments that prioritise speed over safety.

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Reports disclose that this is the fourth violation Washington has filed against Amazon in the previous year.

While commenting on the risk Amazon workers are being exposed to, an assistant secretary at OSHA Doug Parker said, “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 in December last year, disclosed that six Amazon facilities had failed to record and report worker injuries and illnesses as there are still ongoing investigations of the company’s facilities in Colorado, Idaho and New York.

In its findings, it discovered a pattern of employee injuries at the company such as Stuck-by injuries while handling objects over 50 pounds. Despite the fact that Amazon has on-site clinics for employees known as “Amcare”, OSHA claims that these facilities can be prohibitive to workers receiving adequate medical care.

The company has therefore been mandated to pay a fine for violations at its warehouses in Deltona, Florida, Waukegan, Illinois, New Windsor, and New York.

Reacting to OSHA claims, a spokesperson at Amazon said, “we take safety and health of our employees very seriously, and we strongly disagree with these allegations and intend to appeal. We have cooperated fully, and the government’s allegations don’t reflect the reality of safety at our sites. Over the last several months we have demonstrated the extent to which we work every day to mitigate risk and protect our people, and publicly available data show we’ve reduced injury rates nearly 15 percent between 2019 and 2021”.

Amazon further disclosed that the company has invested in engineering innovations that can reduce the need for workers to bend, Twist, and reach in ways that can cause injury while noting that warehouse workers also take part in stretching groups called “huddles”.

Meanwhile, the company is set to commence its largest-ever layoffs in history as it plans to let go of 18,000 employees. In a memo sent to staff, the company plans to cut jobs in U.S., Canada, and Costa Rica.

Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy disclosed that several teams will be affected by its proposed layoffs, which will include the human resources department and Amazon stores.

He further stated that the layoffs were necessary as they will help the company to pursue long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.

Federal officials say Amazon’s speedy and “free” Prime shipping has a human cost. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued several citations against the e-commerce giant this week after discovering safety violations at three of its warehouses, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to OSHA and some former and current employees, the speed at which warehouse staff is required to work makes them vulnerable to injuries. The company received similar violations at six of its warehouses last month. Amazon says it will appeal the decisions, which “don’t reflect the reality of safety” at its facilities. (LinkedIn News)

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