In anticipation of the last holiday season Amazon hired a staggering 100,000 people in the US alone. With that many people working in warehouses you would expect there to be some injures, and there are. There has even been several deaths, one in 2013 when a temporary worker was crushed in an Amazon warehouse.
Amazon in Germany has also been accused of hiring neo-Nazi guards to keep immigrant workers under control. This last Christmas warehouse workers in Germany also went on strike for better working conditions.
The e-commerce company has had quite a few problems reported in the media, regarding their fulfillment operations.
Lack of Data Can Mask Patterns of Injuries
Amazon Fulfillment Services in the US now receives a fine of $7000 and several hazard-alert letters. Letters issued by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to warn employers about the dangers of a specific industry.
- The company exposed employees to ergonomic 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, reports OSHA.
The company is fined for not recording 26 instances of work-related injuries and illnesses. The on-site medical unit is also said to have provided medical care beyond what is allowed by their licensing.
- Failure to properly record occupational illnesses and injuries is hazardous to workers. The lack of accurate data can mask patterns of injuries and illnesses that could help uncover conditions with the potential of putting workers at risk, said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office, a US Department of Labor agency.
Amazon however do not agree with the OSHA's findings and complaints.
- We take safety very seriously. We do not agree with the findings and will be contesting the citation, said a spokesperson for Amazon.