Press Releases January 18, 2023

SOC Responds to Historic OSHA Actions on Worker Safety at Amazon

Today, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations to Amazon for failing to keep workers safe. The actions come after OSHA carried out inspections at three Amazon warehouses in New Windsor, New York, Waukegan, Illinois and Deltona, Florida and found evidence of job hazards and medical mistreatment.

In response, Eric Frumin, Health and Safety Director at the Strategic Organizing Center, released the following statement.

“Amazon warehouses produce more serious injuries than the rest of the warehouse industry combined.

“As OSHA’s investigations have repeatedly documented for almost two years, Amazon’s illegal production system and workloads are a daily threat to the safety and the basic job security of Amazon’s own nearly 400,000 warehouse workers — and indeed throughout the warehouse industry.

“Today’s OSHA citations are the latest evidence that Amazon has companywide, corporate-level policies and practices that create hazardous workplaces, and may result in medical mistreatment or denial of treatment for seriously injured workers. Amazon treats its workers from the warehouse to the delivery route as disposable in its relentless drive for profit.

“The violation for maintaining an excessive work pace — and mandating reduced work hours and added work breaks — is the first in the 50-year history of Federal OSHA.

“On behalf of all warehouse workers, we again call on Amazon to drop its relentless resistance to OSHA’s orders to fix these hazards.

“Amazon should start by immediately suspending its inhuman monitoring and discipline system that OSHA has directly connected to the high rates of warehouse injuries, and give Amazon workers the relief breaks OSHA has said they urgently need to protect themselves from injury.

“From these citations it appears Amazon not only maintains unsafe workplaces, but then denies proper medical treatment to the workers who are harmed by this inhuman system. The full range of state medical and licensing authorities should take notice and investigate Amazon’s potential violations of state laws meant to ensure injured workers receive proper treatment.”



For over two years, the US Department of Labor’s OSHA and its sister agency in Washington State have been investigated worker complaints of serious job hazards from abusive workloads, issued violations for workload hazards in WA State in 2021 and 2022, and ordered prompted “abatement” of those violations – even during Amazon’s interminable appeals of those violations.

These violations have found that the illegal dangers not only involved heavy lifting and awkward lifting and moving packages causing high risks of serious injuries – but also that the very speed of the work itself, combined with the company’s strict discipline system – “[put] pressure … on workers to maintain that pace without adequate recovery time to reduce the risk of MSDs. There is a direct connection between Amazon’s employee monitoring and discipline systems and workplace” injuries.

Federal OSHA has now found similar violations in which Amazon’s equipment, production operations (including Amazon’s own robots) and HR systems together combine to create extraordinary risks of serious injuries. These include the kinds of severely disabling back and shoulder injuries that can prevent workers from ever again doing the manual work which delivers the orders to American consumers every day.

OSHA also found in 2022 that Amazon’s workload hazards were “Willful” violations – a rare determination in OSHA investigations anywhere in any industry.

While Federal and state OSHA agencies have been doing safety inspections at Amazon for far longer, their recent inspections of abusive workloads – launched on a coordinated basis nationally — are unprecedented in OSHA’s 50-year history.

For further details about the history of worker injuries and OSHA investigations at Amazon, see SOC testimony to the US House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, Nov. 17, 2022. For further details, see SOC’s 2022 analysis of Amazon’s injury reports – “The Injury Machine”. Over the last several years SOC has emerged as a leading voice working to hold Amazon accountable for the health and safety of its workers.

DART Rate *



* “DART RATE” is the rate of “serious” injuries per 100 “Full-Time Equivalent” workers; “serious” means that the injury was medically serious enough to require the workers involved to either stop working entirely or to stop doing their regular jobs.


These data are based on the annual summaries of workplace injuries at individual worksites that Amazon has submitted to OSHA for 2021 (latest year available).


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