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Behind Amazon FBA: Warehouse Workers at Risk?

Behind Amazon FBA: Warehouse Workers at Risk?

Behind every order coming from an Amazon distribution center are Amazon warehouse workers, and the US Department of Labor is concerned about them.

OSHA cited Amazon for failing to keep workers safe after it conducted inspections at three warehouse facilities (Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York).

Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in a press release on Wednesday, “Each of these inspections found work processes that were designed for speed but not safety, and they resulted in serious worker injuries. 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.”

According to the press release, “OSHA investigators found Amazon warehouse workers at high risk for lower back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders related to the high frequency with which workers are required to lift packages and other items; 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.”

An Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg (via Yahoo Finance) the company takes workplace safety seriously and reduced injury rates nearly 15% between 2019 and 2021.

CNBC also reported on the news and said a company spokesperson disagreed with OSHA’s decisions and intends to appeal them, quoting the spokesperson who said in part, “We’ve cooperated fully, and the government’s allegations don’t reflect the reality of safety at our sites.”

According to the OSHA press release, Amazon faces a total of $60,269 in proposed penalties for violations it described.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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