OSHA has cited Amazon during inspections at six warehouse facilities in five states for failing to properly record work-related injuries and illnesses, according to the Department of Labor. The findings are part of an ongoing investigation that mark the ecommerce giant’s latest brush with labor challenges.
The OSHA citations are based on 14 recordkeeping violations, including failing to record injuries and illnesses, misclassifying injuries and illnesses, not recording injuries and illnesses within the required time, and not providing OSHA with timely injury and illness records. Amazon faces $29,008 in proposed penalties.
The investigations were opened following referrals from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. They began in late July and early August and involved Amazon locations in Deltona, Fla.; Waukegan, Ill.; Aurora, Colo.; Nampa, Idaho; and New Windsor and Castleton, N.Y. OSHA’s investigations at all six locations are ongoing.
“Solving health and safety problems in the workplace requires injury and illness records to be accurate and transparent,” said Doug Parker, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health in a statement. “Our concern is that nothing will be done to keep an injury from recurring if it isn’t even recorded in the logbook which — in a company the size of Amazon — could have significant consequences for a large number of workers.”
Amazon has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
This is the second action Amazon has faced from U.S. authorities in recent months. In November, a federal judge ordered Amazon to stop retaliating against employees engaged in workplace activism as part of a lawsuit regarding the organizing of a warehouse on Staten Island, N.Y. The judge found “reasonable cause” to believe the ecommerce giant committed an unfair labor practice by firing former employee Gerald Bryson, who was involved in the unionization push.