Amazon’s image as a caring employer has been deeply tarnished in recent years by allegations that it puts timing and profits ahead of employee safety – and the latest allegations certainly aren’t improving things.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the company again for practices that put its employees in chronic danger of injuries.
What brought on the new fines?
After several workers died in Amazon warehouses around the country in 2022, OSHA began looking more closely at company practices. Among the problems they’ve noted is that the company requires employees to work long shifts, lifting heavy items over and over again at a high rate of speed. That puts the employees at an unreasonably “high risk of low back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders.”
In essence, the company uses up its workers in the name of keeping up with consumer demands (and its own promises of speedy shipping). The OSHA report takes pains to point out that these are largely preventable injuries. The tasks workers are doing can be done safely, but not the way the company operates. As one OSHA official said, “Amazon’s operating methods are creating hazardous work conditions and processes, leading to serious worker injuries.”
The newest citations could cost the company $47,000, on top of another $60,000 in fines that were proposed in January for similar problems – but the company already intends to fight the allegations and fines.
The reality is that many warehouse workers are routinely exposed to unsafe working conditions, and they get injured as a result. If you’re in that position, you have every right to workers’ compensation. Experienced legal guidance can help you make sure that you don’t leave any money on the table.