Amazon faces fines after six of its warehouse facilities in five states failed to properly record work-related injuries and illnesses.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the retailer was issued citations for 14 record-keeping violations earlier this month, including failing to record injuries and illnesses, misclassifying injuries and illnesses, not recording injuries and illnesses within the required time and not providing OSHA with timely injury and illness records. Amazon faces $29,008 in proposed penalties.
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OSHA said it stepped in following referrals from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and opened inspections on July 18, 2022, at Amazon locations in Deltona, Fla.; Waukegan, Ill.; and New Windsor, N.Y.; and on Aug. 1, 2022, at locations in Aurora, Colo.; Nampa, Idaho; and Castleton, N.Y.
The agency added that investigations at the six locations are ongoing and issued the record-keeping citations now to ensure they were issued within six months as federal law requires.
“Solving health and safety problems in the workplace requires injury and illness records to be accurate and transparent,” Doug Parker, assistant secretary for OSHA, said in a statement. “Our concern is that nothing will be done to keep an injury from recurring if it isn’t even recorded in the logbook which – in a company the size of Amazon – could have significant consequences for a large number of workers.”
These new citations follow several recent claims this year from employees regarding the safety of the retailer’s facilities.
In July, an Amazon warehouse employee died on the job during the e-commerce giant’s big two-day, $12 billion Prime Day event at the company’s EWR9 facility in Carteret, N.J. OSHA said in a statement emailed to FN at the time that it was “aware of the tragic incident” and opened an inspection on July 14 and is currently investigating. OSHA has six months to conduct its inspection and release its findings, the spokesperson wrote. Additional details about how the worker died were not available.
On the corporate side, a former Amazon office employee sued the e-commerce giant in May, alleging that the company failed to provide her with reasonable accommodations for disabilities resulting from the impacts of long-Covid symptoms. In a complaint, the former employee claimed that Amazon refused to accept doctors’ notes that supported the need for an extended period of leave after contracting Covid-19 early on in the pandemic.
Earlier this year, employees at an Amazon warehouse on New York’s Staten Island officially formed a union, becoming the first Amazon group to do so. According to the union’s website, the group proposed eight immediate changes that aim to improve the lives of all associates including a 7.5% inflation adjustment on associate wages, ending the overtime cap on part-time and flex associates, and sending workers home with pay when injured on the job instead of having them use their personal PTO.
Since then, several other Amazon warehouses have voted and struck down their own unionization efforts even as the company still fails to recognize the Staten Island facility as a union.
Separately, Amazon committed last week to addressing the European Commission’s competition concerns over the online retailer’s use of seller data by settling two independent antitrust complaints with the government body.
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