OSHA is investigating three more Amazon warehouses near Albany, New York; Denver, Colorado; and Boise, Idaho, less than a month after opening investigations at three other facilities in New York, Chicago and Florida.
These investigations are part of “an ongoing probe launched last month by OSHA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY),” according to CNBC.
OSHA began inspecting the warehouses in mid-July based on referrals from SDNY. The U.S. Attorney’s Office told CNBC that it’s “investigating potential workplace safety hazards at Amazon warehouses nationwide, as well as possible fraudulent conduct designed to hide injuries from OSHA and other regulators.”
Zeroing in on recordkeeping, ergonomics, industrial trucks
Documents reviewed by CNBC show that OSHA inspectors have zeroed in on Amazon’s injury and illness recordkeeping, ergonomics program and powered industrial truck operations.
An online form created by federal prosecutors asked current and former Amazon employees to report information about working conditions inside the warehouses.
Among other things, the form asks:
- Have you seen workers working in unsafe ways to try to meet their productivity/rate requirements?
- Do you believe that Amazon discourages workers from reporting injuries?
DOL, SDNY confirm new investigations
A Department of Labor spokesperson told CNBC that OSHA has opened investigations at Amazon warehouses based on allegations of safety and health violations as several Amazon facilities, but couldn’t provide more information since these are active investigations.
SDNY also confirmed the OSHA inspections, stating they were being conducted based on referrals it made concerning possible workplace hazards related to “Amazon’s required pace of work for its warehouse employees.”
Amazon has stated that it will cooperate with OSHA during the investigations.