Amazon fined $7,000 for working employees too hard

DUPONT, Wash. — An inspection of Amazon’s Dupont warehouse by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries resulted in a fine of $7,000.

As first reported in The Seattle Times, the inspection revealed violations that Amazon did not provide employees with an environment free of hazards that could lead to serious injuries.

Specifically, the inspection noted employees are required to repeated manual labor at a high pace, such as repetitive motions, lifting, carrying, pulling, pushing, forceful exertions, twisting, bending, long reaches, awkward postures, which are all likely to cause injuries.

The report noted Amazon collects data that pressures workers to maintain a very high pace of work without adequate recovery time to reduce the risks of injuries.

The fine of $7,000 was noted as a serious violation.

Suggestions to Amazon to fix these violations from L&I include adjusting the heights of conveyor belts, carts loaded with springs to reduce awkward lifting, powered jacks to reduce pulling and pushing, height-adjustable platforms for employees or shelves and structuring schedules to reduce overloading employees.

Amazon must correct these violations by July 6 or file for an extension by that date.