Giant e-retailer Amazon runs afoul of OSHA
Amazon Fulfillment Services was issued a $7,000 fine and received hazard alert letters after OSHA found hazards at its Robbinsville, New Jersey facility.
Citation and hazard alert letters issued on Dec. 21, 2015 by OSHA included one other-than-serious citation. On Dec. 30, 2015, one ergonomic-related hazard-alert letter was issued. Additionally, OSHA issued a medical-related hazard-alert letter on Jan. 7, 2016.
OSHA's investigation began July 1, 2015, in response to a complaint alleging recordkeeping violations; employees exposed to workplace hazards including fall, noise, electrical and amputation hazards; and the lack of personal protective equipment.
OSHA investigators cited Amazon Fulfillment Services with the other-than-serious citation for not recording 26 instances of work-related injuries and illnesses on the required OSHA 300 logs.
Amazon received hazard-alert letters because the company exposed employees to ergonomic risk factors including stress from repeated bending at the waist and repeated exertions, and standing during entire shifts up to 10 hours, four days a week and sometimes including mandatory overtime shifts. Also, the on-site medical unit provided medical care beyond what is allowed by their licensing and certification, without the supervision of a board certified qualified medical professional licensed to practice independently.
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Proposed penalty: $7,000
"Failure to properly record occupational illnesses and injuries is hazardous to workers. The lack of accurate data can mask patterns of injuries and illnesses that could help uncover conditions with the potential of putting workers at risk," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office. "In addition to keeping accurate records, Amazon should address the potential dangers identified in the hazard-alert letters to ensure the safety and health of its fulfillment center employees."