Amazon faces fines for unsafe warehouse worker conditions after OSHA inspections

OSHA said Wednesday that inspections at three Amazon warehouses found unsafe conditions for workers. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 3 | OSHA said Wednesday that inspections at three Amazon warehouses found unsafe conditions for workers. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration Wednesday cited Amazon for safety violations as federal safety inspections at three Amazon warehouses found the company is failing to keep workers safe.

OSHA said the warehouses, in Deltona, Fla., Waukegan, Ill., and New Windsor, N.Y., are violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which requires employers to provide safe workplaces.


"Each of these inspections found work processes that were designed for speed but not safety, and they resulted in serious worker injuries," said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker in a statement. "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 said investigators found Amazon warehouse workers at high risk for lower back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders related to workers frequently being required to lift packages and other items. It said that the heavy weight of the items; awkward postures, such as twisting, bending and long reaches while lifting; and long hours required to complete assigned tasks also contribute to the injuries.


Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said the company denies the allegations and intends to appeal.

"We've cooperated fully, and the government's allegations don't reflect the reality of safety at our sites," Nantel said. "Over the last several months we've demonstrated the extent to which we work every day to mitigate risk and protect our people, and our publicly available data show we've reduced injury rates nearly 15% between 2019 and 2021."

OSHA also said it discovered Amazon warehouse workers experience high rates of musculoskeletal disorders.

In a letter to an Amazon site manager in Deltona, Fla., OSHA said an inspection showed "workers face immense pressure to meet the pace of work and production quotas at the risk of sustaining musculoskeletal injuries, which are often acute."

OSHA also said the Amazon on-site first aid clinic at the site is not staffed appropriately.

Proposed penalties for the violations cited total $60,269.

Ongoing OSHA inspections are being done at three other Amazon locations in Colorado, Idaho and New York state.

Latest Headlines