Breaking News
More () »

Nampa Amazon warehouse cited by OSHA

The U.S. Department of Labor says the Nampa facility is one of three Amazon warehouses where workers were exposed to unsafe conditions, high injury risk.

NAMPA, Idaho — This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Wednesday that Amazon exposed workers to unsafe conditions and ergonomic hazards at three warehouses, including the one in Nampa.

At all the locations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found workers were exposed to a high risk of lower back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders, related to the high amount employees had to lift items, the heavy weight of the items, workers awkwardly contorting themselves to lift items and long hours required to complete assigned tasks.

“Amazon’s operating methods are creating hazardous work conditions and processes, leading to serious worker injuries,” said Doug Parker, assistant secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. “They need to take these injuries seriously and implement a company-wide strategy to protect their employees from these well-known and preventable hazards.”

Inspections took place between Aug. 1, 2022 and Dec. 15, 2022, according to a letter sent to Nampa. The letter also said the type of violation was “serious.”

In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said the company takes the health and safety of its employees very seriously.

“We don’t believe the government’s allegations reflect the reality of safety at our sites,” Nantel said. “We’ve cooperated with the government through its investigation and have demonstrated how we work to mitigate risks and keep our people safe, and our publicly available data show we reduced injury rates in the U.S. nearly 15% between 2019 and 2021. We also know there will always be more to do, and we’ll continue working to get better every day.”

The letter noted five tasks that put employees at risk: The Fluid Unload task, the Fluid Load task, the Downstack/Waterspider task, the Pallet Decant task and the Sort Go-Cart task.

It is unclear exactly what those tasks are, but the letter also offered solutions for each task. For Fluid Unload, the letter said items should only arrive on pallets or carts and be removed from trucks using forklifts or electric pallet jacks. It said floor unloading should not be done and if floor-loaded trailers arrive, Amazon should implement a robotic system to unload packages onto a conveyor belt.

For Fluid Load, items should be loaded into trailers only on pallets, shuttle containers or go carts and moved into trucks using forklifts or the pallet jacks.

On Downstack/Waterspider, it said Amazon should automate the delivery of totes directly to stow stations or modify u-boats with height adjustable platforms so totes can be slid onto the boats or downstack totes onto a pallet on a height adjustable platform and deliver to stow stations with a robotic system.

For Pallet Decant, the letter said to provide a pallet lift table to reduce forward bending and lifting.

For the Sort Go-Carts, carts should be marked to avoid stacking boxes above shoulder height, the letter said, along with other modifications to the carts. Packages over a certain weight should be moved with a lift assist system, the letter said.

The proposed penalty is over $15,600. The violation must be fixed by June 13, 2023.

In the meantime, Amazon has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with the area director or contest the findings.

This article originally appeared in the Idaho Press, read more on IdahoPress.com.

Watch more Local News:

See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist:

KTVB is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the KTVB mobile app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Before You Leave, Check This Out