The U.S. Department of Labor alleges that workers at an Amazon fulfillment center in Logan Township are being exposed to ergonomic hazards.
In January, the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation in response to a complaint it received. OSHA’s investigators found that the company was exposing employees to hazards capable of causing serious physical harm, including requiring employees to perform tasks leading to bodily stress that had caused, were causing and were likely to cause musculoskeletal disorders.
OSHA said it also learned during the investigation that Amazon had failed to use established controls to ensure that injured employees received proper medical care.
The findings of the investigation led OSHA to issue Amazon a citation for particular ergonomic hazards, propose $15,625 in penalties, and issued a Hazard Alert Letter regarding additional ergonomic hazards.
Officials noted that the agency has 18 open federal inspections at Amazon locations across the nation and that this instance marks the sixth time in 2023 that OSHA has cited Amazon for violations including at a facility in Bayonne.
“The work done by Amazon employees in the company’s fulfillment centers is physically demanding, which makes the availability of proper medical care extremely important,” said OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick in a press release. “Amazon needs to do more to protect the safety and health of its employees, including implementation of a companywide strategy to address well-known and preventable hazards.”
In a statement to NJBIZ, Amazon pushed back against the allegations.
“We take the safety of our employees very seriously, and we strongly disagree with these allegations and intend to appeal. 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,” Steve Kelly, an Amazon spokesperson, told NJBIZ. “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.”