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Federal security inspectors have concluded that the twists, bends, and lengthy pulls that Amazon warehouse employees carry out as much as 9 instances per minute put them at excessive threat for decrease again accidents and different musculoskeletal problems and pose an unacceptable hazard.
As half of a bigger investigation into hazardous working situations, the Occupational Security and Well being Administration introduced Wednesday that it had cited Amazon for failing to maintain employees secure at warehouses in Delton, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York.
“Whereas Amazon has developed spectacular techniques to make sure the environment friendly and quick supply of its clients’ orders, the corporate has not been capable of reveal the identical stage of dedication to defending the protection and well-being of its employees,” mentioned the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupational Security and Well being. Doug Parker.
The e-commerce large faces a complete of $60,269 in proposed penalties, the utmost allowable for violating the Occupational Security and Well being Act’s common responsibility clause, which requires employers to offer a office freed from acknowledged hazards.
Parker famous that willful or repeated violations by an employer might end in harsher penalties. He mentioned there was no ergonomics violation in Amazon’s historical past that might lead the corporate to a “main violation program,” however that might change with additional critiques.
In December, the US Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) cited Amazon for greater than a dozen file protecting violations, together with failure to report accidents, as a part of the identical investigation.
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Inspectors in contrast DART charges—days away from work, work restrictions, or transfers—within the warehouse trade and Amazon amenities, and located that charges had been unusually excessive at three Amazon warehouses.
On the Amazon order middle in Waukegan, Illinois, the place employees deal with packages weighing greater than 50 kilos, DART was practically twice the velocity of DART for the trade as an entire, and thrice sooner at Amazon’s New York and Florida amenities.
The DART fee for the trade as an entire was 4.7 accidents per 100 employees per yr in 2021, Parker mentioned.
Inspectors additionally discovered that employees might be hit by falling supplies saved unsafely at or above 30 ft on the Florida facility.
Amazon has not but responded to NPR’s request for remark. The corporate has the suitable to problem OSHA citations.
If the federal government wins, Amazon shall be required not solely to pay the fines but additionally to repair the violations, which Parker famous might result in important funding in reorganizing their processes to offer employees with a safer work surroundings.
Editor’s be aware: Amazon is among the many current monetary backers of NPR.