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Amazon is hit again with more safety probes

Amazon is hit again with more safety probes

Amazon is hit again with more safety probes as the risks that may be present in Amazon’s workplaces are receiving an increased amount of attention from federal regulators. Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor, went to Amazon offices in Albany, New York, Denver, Colorado and Boise, Idaho on Monday.


OSHA and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York have begun conducting inspections. This is part of an ongoing investigation that was initiated one month ago. In response to recommendations from SDNY prosecutors, OSHA officers went to three more Amazon facilities in the middle of July. These warehouses were located in New York, Chicago and Orlando.

The United States Attorney’s Office said a month ago that the civil division is looking into probable workplace safety risks at Amazon warehouses around the country. This is in addition to any fraudulent activity meant to conceal accidents from OSHA and other authorities.

OSHA inspectors have focused their attention on the recording of injuries and illnesses at Amazon. This also includes the company’s ergonomics program and power industrial truck (also known as PIT) operations. Personnel in PIT jobs are required to use forklifts and other types of technology. This is in order to access goods that are stored on high shelves or transport heavy objects throughout the warehouse.


Amazon is hit again with more safety probes

Prosecutors from the federal government invited present and former Amazon workers to fill out an online questionnaire. This is based on their experiences with the company’s working conditions. One of the survey’s questions asks if respondents have seen “people working in risky ways to try to meet their productivity/rate expectations. “One more asks, “Do you feel that Amazon employees are discouraged from reporting injuries?”

A spokesman for the Department of Labor confirmed that OSHA has initiated investigations at Amazon facilities located in the states of Colorado, Idaho and New York. The spokeswoman said that the investigations are being conducted. This is as a result of complaints of safety and health breaches at “multiple Amazon sites.” However, the spokesperson refused to speak any more on the matter since the inquiries are “current investigations.”

Nicholas Biase, chief spokesperson for the SDNY, has confirmed that OSHA conducted inspections of the three facilities. This was on Monday morning in response to referrals made by the SDNY concerning potential workplace hazards related to, among other things. “Amazon’s required pace of work for its warehouse employees.”

Kelly Nantel, a spokesman for Amazon said in a statement that the company wants to comply with OSHA during the whole of its inquiry. According to what Nantel had to say about it, “We think it will eventually reveal that these fears are unwarranted.”


Amazon faces several backlashes

Amazon has taken a lot of heat for the way it treats its employees. This is especially true for those who work in its warehouses and delivery trucks. Critics and politicians have referred to the company’s fixation on speed and stringent targets as hazards to the safety of its employees as a cause for concern. Employees often assert that if they do not fulfill their production requirements, they face the possibility of being disciplined or even dismissed.

Amazon has refuted accusations that its warehouses have unhealthy working conditions. They also denied that it imposes quotas of any kind in its fulfillment centers.

Investigations of working conditions at Amazon warehouses have been conducted many times by OSHA inspectors. These investigations have focused on a catastrophic warehouse collapse as well as health and safety issues relating to the coronavirus. When an OSHA violation is discovered, it often leads to penalties that are quite little. This is when compared to the tens of trillions of dollars in yearly sales that Amazon rakes in.

Injuries Sustained in Warehouses

The rate of injuries suffered by workers in the transportation and warehousing industries was 4.4 per 100 full-time employees in 2019. After agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, this industry has the second-highest rate of recordable instances in the private sector.

Additionally, there were 914 fatal occupational accidents in the transportation and warehousing sectors in 2019. This is with trucking accounting for 617 of those accidents. In 2015, there were 765 deaths in the industry, presenting a trend that is cause for concern.

Read: Property owners in the US use unscrupulous means to evade taxes

OSHA’s Recommendations for Safeguarding Warehouses

Improving working conditions may be accomplished in a number of ways, one of which is by establishing universally applicable safety standards for warehouses. At this time, safety in the warehouse environment is governed by a mishmash of general business standards.

However, not all dangers, such as heat illness and ergonomic hazards, are included in a contemporary standard that is enforced in the warehouse industry.

Read: Many UPS drivers are falling sick and calling for safety measures as temperature soars

Make sure there is enough ventilation in your warehouse. Implement correct lockout/tag-out procedures. Block off any areas where an employee may fall more than four feet. This includes loading dock doors that are open or exposed to the elements. Remove any potential risks that might cause people to trip, slide, or fall from the floors, aisles and surfaces.


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