Amazon was recently hit with fines by the U.S. Department of Labor for allegedly failing to properly document work-related injuries and illnesses. The fines were levied against Amazon’s fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey. The 1.2 million-square-foot center, which is located just off Route 539 in Robbinsville, typically employs approximately 2,500 people. During the most recent holiday period, the warehouse had in excess of 4,000 full-time employees.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the main federal agency charged with enforcement of federal safety and health legislation, the NJ Amazon fulfillment center violated federal law by shirking its responsibility to document employee injuries and illnesses in at least 26 instances. The workplace injuries were supposed to be marked on company injury logs, but the people tasked with documenting work safety risks did not do so.
OSHA started its investigation into the New Jersey fulfillment center on July 1, 2015 after receiving a complaint about workplace safety. When OSHA inspectors visited the company’s warehouse, they found that employees were being exposed to repetitive stress injuries as a result of needing to bend at the waist and stand while working extremely long, 10-hours shifts. Inspectors also reportedly learned that the NJ center’s onsite medical team was not complying with federal requirements by providing medical care to injured employees that went beyond the doctors’ licensing and certification.
Although the fines handed down to the NJ Amazon center might not be financially significant – they total $7,000 – the government agency’s action still sends a strong message that workplace safety standards are extremely important and officials will step in when employers fail to ensure the health and safety of their employees.
Paula Dixon-Roderick, the director of the OSHA office in Marlton, NJ, issued a statement highlighting the need for businesses to “properly record occupational illnesses and injuries” because accurate data “could help uncover conditions with the potential of putting workers at risk.”
For additional information about the fines issued against Amazon, read the NJ.com article, “N.J. Amazon Plant Didn’t Report Workplace Injuries; Fined by Feds.”
If you or a loved one was injured on the job, you should speak with a skilled personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. The experienced workers’ comp attorneys at Team Law can help you navigate the complicated workers’ comp process in New Jersey and get compensated for your injuries and lost wages. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.