Workplace Injury

N.J. Amazon plant didn’t report workplace injuries

Kevin Shea | For – The U.S. Department of Labor has fined Amazon’s Robbinsville fulfillment center $7,000 for not documenting 26 instances of work-related injuries and illnesses on required logs, the agency alleged Tuesday.

The labor department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also found Robbinsville fulfillment center employees were exposed to several workplace ergonomic risks, included repeated bending at the waist and exertions and standing during their 10-hour shifts for four days – including some mandatory overtime shifts.

During an OSHA investigation, which began July 1, 2015, and was spurred by a complaint, inspectors also found the warehouse’s onsite medical team was providing medical care beyond what their licensing and certification allows, the agency said.

“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,” Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA’s Marlton office said in a statement.

“In addition to keeping accurate records, Amazon should address the potential dangers identified in the hazard-alert letters to ensure the safety and health of its fulfillment center employees,” Dixon-Roderick said in the statement.

It’s been more than a week since the online retail giant began staggering shifts in a move meant to ease the congestion.

OSHA said in a statement that Amazon received a citation, labeled “other than serious” for not recording the 26 instances of work-related injuries and illnesses on the required OSHA logs, and “hazard alert” letters for the other violations.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday morning.

In early December, as holiday shopping and orders increased, the 1.2 million-square-foot fulfillment center employed more than 4,000 regular, full-time employees and additional seasonal associates.

Regularly, Amazon officials have said, the center off Route 539 employs about 2,500 people.

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