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Amazon sanctioned by US Labour Department

Jan 13

Written by:
13/01/2016 11:57  RssIcon

Federal government issues fine 

Amazon has been fined by the US Department of Labour for failing to report injuries in one of its warehouses.

A citation issued by the federal safety regulators says the online retailer failed to report at least 26 work-related illnesses and injuries at a New Jersey warehouse in 2015.

The fine came after multi-month inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Amazon did not report workplace injuries and did not supply protective equipment to workers, who were exposed to dangers, including potential amputation.

Inside an Amazon warehouse, photo credit: Flickr.  

Labour failings

The fine metered out is small at just $7,000 but it adds to a litany of labour failings that we have reported on over the past few years. One temporary worker was crushed to death in late 2013 after getting stuck between a conveyor system while sorting packages at their warehouse in Avenel, New Jersey. Another fatality came in mid 2014 at an Amazon 'fulfillment center' in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Aaron Toso, a spokesperson for Amazon, told US news network CBS:

"We take safety very seriously, we do not agree with the findings and will be contesting the citation."

According to OSHA, Amazon workers were exposed to:

"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."

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