OSHA calls Amazon’s Nampa fulfillment center ‘hazardous working conditions’

Federal regulators have penalized Amazon’s massive Nampa fulfillment center for allegedly exposing workers to unsafe conditions.

Workers at Amazon’s 5295 E. Franklin Road warehouse were ordered to perform tasks that could lead to lower back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders, the OSHA ticket said Wednesday.

OSHA also cited the company’s warehouses in Aurora, Colorado; and Castleton, New York. The agency has previously issued tickets to three other Amazon centers in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York.

The U.S. Department of Labor, which includes OSHA, is proposing a $15,625 fine for violations at the Nampa warehouse. Amazon has 15 days to dispute the violation.

“Amazon’s operating methods are creating dangerous working conditions and processes that are causing serious worker injuries,” OSHA Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in a news release Wednesday. “They need to take these injuries seriously and Implement a company-wide strategy to protect employees from these well-known and preventable hazards.”

Robotics Development Program Manager Alex Wright demonstrates an autonomous courier at Amazon's fulfillment center in Nampa. The 2.7 million-square-foot site has been issued a citation by federal authorities for workers' exposure to unsafe conditions.

Robotics Development Program Manager Alex Wright demonstrates an autonomous courier at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Nampa. The 2.7 million-square-foot site has been issued a citation by federal authorities for workers’ exposure to unsafe conditions.

The Labor Department began inspecting the company’s Nampa operations center on Aug. 8. The agency led the agency’s multiple inspections of Amazon warehouses across the country on Jan. 1 following a referral from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

All six locations were listed as workers suffering injuries from lifting, twisting, bending, pushing, pulling, extending and awkward postures.

OSHA cited Amazon in December for 14 recordkeeping violations as part of the same investigation.

The agency sent a hazard alert letter to Nick Govan, the workplace health and safety manager at the Nampa warehouse, on Tuesday, saying employees at the site “are under enormous pressure to meet work rhythms and production quotas, risking sustained muscle mass.” risk of bone injury.”

The letter also said investigators found evidence during the inspection that injuries may not have been reported because the company’s on-site emergency clinic was “improperly staffed.”

The investigation by federal authorities included private interviews with employees, analysis of first aid and treatment logs, video footage of workers performing certain tasks, and a review of injury and illness recordkeeping forms over the years since the Idaho warehouse began operating in late 2020 operate.

When the site opens, Amazon says it will hire as many as 2,000 people.

Amazon has reduced its U.S. employee injury rate by nearly 15% between 2019 and 2021, company spokeswoman Kelly Nantel told the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday.

“We take the safety and health of our employees very seriously, and we do not believe the government’s allegations reflect the reality of safety at our plants. We have cooperated with the government through our investigations and demonstrated how we are working to reduce risk and keep our people safe,” Nantel said. Said in the email. “We also know there’s always more to do and we’ll keep trying to get better every day.”

The violations related to employees moving heavy packages also stem from They work at the speed required.

Amazon has a strict disciplinary system that puts pressure on workers to maintain a certain pace without sufficient recovery time, Fruming said.

“Despite clear evidence and mounting pressure from OSHA and DOJ (U.S. Department of Justice), Amazon refuses to take responsibility for its notorious distinction of leading the warehouse industry in terms of workers’ injuries,” Frumin said. “Amazon must begin by acknowledging that its business model prioritizes speed and profit over safety, rather than opposing a federal mandate to design truly safe jobs.”

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