The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Wednesday issued safety instructions to Amazon Inc. and issued warning letters after inspections at three warehouses found workers exposed to ergonomic hazards.
U.S. Department of Labor Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in a conference call Wednesday that the investigation of multiple facilities at the three warehouses — in Deltona, Fla.; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York — are part of “an ongoing nationwide investigation into Amazon,” which has “created dangerous working conditions and processes designed for speed” and is causing numerous ergonomic injuries to workers.
“Our research showed that warehouse workers must perform tasks at a fast pace, including manually lifting items from trailers, removing packages from a conveyor and stacking them,”; he said, adding that the company “requires workers to work in uncomfortable positions that make them prone to harm; these tasks are performed up to nine times a minute.”
“Amazon has prided itself on being the gold standard for logistics and warehousing, known for its global operating system that provides fast delivery to customers,” he said. “While Amazon has developed impressive systems to ensure that customers’ orders are shipped efficiently and quickly, the company has failed to demonstrate the same level of commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of its employees.”
Similar surveys at three Amazon locations in Aurora, Colorado; Nampa, Idaho; and Castleton, New York; ongoing, according to OSHA.
Amazon has not commented publicly on the quotes and did not respond to a request for comment.