OSHA Issues Amazon 6th Workplace Safety Citation This Year

Amazon has received another citation from OSHA for worker safety violations.

Story updated 8/7/23 at 4:06pm to include comments from Amazon.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued another citation to Amazon for exposing its workers to ergonomic hazards and failing to provide proper medical care, this time at its fulfillment center in Logan Township, N.J. Amazon said it intends to appeal the decision, as it has previous OSHA citations.

This is the sixth time this year that OSHA has cited Amazon for workplace safety violations, and the department said it currently has 18 open federal inspections at Amazon locations in the U.S.

“We take the safety of our employees very seriously, and we strongly disagree with these allegations and intend to appeal,” said Amazon in a statement shared with Retail TouchPoints. “We’ve cooperated fully with OSHA’s investigation at our Logan Township Fulfillment Center and don’t believe that these allegations reflect the reality of safety at our sites. Over the last several months we’ve demonstrated the extent to which we work every day to mitigate risk and protect our people, and our publicly available data shows that across our global network our recordable incident rate has improved nearly 24% and long term incident rate has improved 53% since 2019.”

OSHA inspectors opened the investigation into the Logan Township facility in January 2023 in response to a complaint. Inspectors found that Amazon required employees to perform tasks leading to bodily stress that had caused, were causing and/or were likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders. Inspectors also found that Amazon had failed to use established controls to ensure that injured employees received proper medical care.

As a result, OSHA has proposed a fine of $15,625 and issued two Hazard Alert letters to the company regarding ergonomic hazards and medical treatment failure. Amazon has 15 business days from receipt of the current citations and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings.

So far this year OSHA has issued Amazon a total of six citations for violations at warehouses in Deltona, Fla.; Aurora and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Nampa, Idaho; Waukegan, Ill.; Bayonne, N.J.; and Castleton and New Windsor, N.Y.

The company also is being investigated by Senator Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). In June 2023, Sanders sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy notifying him of the investigation and launched a website where Amazon workers can submit their stories to the committee. 

“The company’s quest for profits at all costs has led to unsafe physical environments, intense pressure to work at unsustainable rates and inadequate medical attention for tens of thousands of Amazon workers every year,” reads Sanders’ 10-page letter.

Amazon spokesperson Steve Kelly told Retail TouchPoints at the time that the company “strongly disagrees with Senator Sanders’ assertions” and renewed its open invitation for Sanders to come tour one of its facilities. Amazon also has publicly shared its safety, well-being and health report, which includes data from 2022.