CASTLETON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations at three Amazon warehouses across the country, with one of them being in Castleton. The citation is for failing to keep workers safe, and they delivered hazard alert letters for exposing workers to ergonomic hazards.
OSHA has proposed $46,875 in penalties for the violations at the Castleton facility, also ones located in Aurora, Colorado, and Nampa, Idaho, which also received citations. OSHA investigators found Amazon had exposed their warehouse workers to a high risk of low back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders. OSHA says workers at the cited locations were at risk of the following:
- High frequency with which employees must lift packages and other items.
- Heavy weight of the items handled by workers.
- Employees awkwardly twisting, bending and extending themselves to lift items.
- Long hours required to complete assigned tasks.
“Amazon’s operating methods are creating hazardous work conditions and processes, leading to serious worker injuries,” explained Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “They need to take these injuries seriously and implement a company-wide strategy to protect their employees from these well-known and preventable hazards.”
Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel issued the following statement:
“We take the safety and health of our employees very seriously, and we don’t believe the government’s allegations reflect the reality of safety at our sites. We’ve cooperated with the government through its investigation and have demonstrated how we work to mitigate risks and keep our people safe, and our publicly available data show we reduced injury rates in the U.S. nearly 15% between 2019 and 2021. We also know there will always be more to do, and we’ll continue working to get better every day.”
Amazon said they intend to appeal.