Three more Amazon warehouses part of OSHA safety investigation

A employee assembles a field for supply on the Amazon success middle in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., April 30, 2019.

Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

Federal officers are sharpening their concentrate on Amazon’s office safety hazards.

Investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is part of the Labor Department, visited Amazon websites close to Albany, New York, Denver and Boise, Idaho, on Monday, in response to a doc seen by CNBC. 

The inspections are part of an ongoing probe launched final month by OSHA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. OSHA officers in mid-July visited three different Amazon warehouses in New York, Chicago and Orlando in response to referrals from SDNY prosecutors. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office mentioned final month that the civil division is investigating potential office safety hazards at Amazon warehouses nationwide, in addition to potential fraudulent conduct designed to cover accidents from OSHA and different regulators. 

OSHA inspectors have to this point zeroed in on Amazon’s harm and sickness recordkeeping, ergonomics program and Power Industrial Truck (often called PIT) operations, in response to the most recent doc. PIT roles require workers to drive forklifts or different equipment to achieve merchandise on excessive cabinets or transfer heavy objects across the warehouse.

Federal prosecutors requested present and former Amazon workers to report details about working situations by way of a web-based type. One query on the survey reads, “Have you seen workers working in unsafe ways to try to meet their productivity/rate requirements?” Another says, “Do you believe that Amazon discourages workers from reporting injuries?”

Representatives from OSHA and Amazon did not instantly reply to requests for remark. 

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel beforehand instructed CNBC in a press release that the corporate intends to cooperate with OSHA all through its investigation. “We believe it will ultimately show that these concerns are unfounded,” Nantel mentioned.

Amazon has repeatedly come underneath hearth for its remedy of warehouse and supply employees. Critics and lawmakers have pointed to the corporate’s obsession with velocity and strenuous quotas as threats to employee safety. Employees usually declare they’re in danger of self-discipline and being fired in the event that they fail to satisfy productiveness quotas. 

Amazon has denied that it makes use of such quotas in its warehouses, and disputed stories of unsafe working situations. 

OSHA investigators have inspected Amazon warehouses on quite a few events over working situations, together with a tragic warehouse collapse and coronavirus-related well being and safety considerations. When an OSHA violation is recognized, it sometimes leads to fines which might be paltry in contrast with the a whole lot of billions of {dollars} Amazon hauls in yearly.

WATCH: A better take a look at Amazon’s warehouse accidents


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