Amazon has found itself in the spotlight throughout the last few years for alleged worker safety violations. It is no secret that people working in Amazon warehouses have suffered a range of injuries. There have even been a few fatalities. But is Amazon to blame for these accidents, or were they inevitable due to the nature of warehouse work? This is just one question that the US Department of Labor set out to answer with its investigation into an Amazon fulfillment center in Castleton. The agency has now concluded its investigation, and the verdict is not exactly encouraging for Amazon.
The Department of Labor's Remarks on Amazon
After looking into a fulfillment center in Castleton, the Department of Labor has concluded that Amazon "failed to provide adequate medical treatment" for traumatic and chronic injuries. A dangerous pattern seems to have emerged in this workplace: Workers who suffered serious injuries – including head and back injuries – were not provided with medical care. Amazon simply sent these individuals back to work, and this often resulted in their injuries becoming much worse. The Department of Labor notes that this pattern is mirrored across the nation in fulfillment centers in New Jersey and Florida.
Speaking about their investigation, the Department of Labor stressed that:
"The work at these fulfillment facilities is physically demanding. Returning a worker with a back injury or possible concussion to their job without proper medical evaluation and care can lead to prolonged injuries and lifelong suffering. The examples uncovered by our investigation demonstrate a callous disregard for the well-being of Amazon's Castleton employees that is completely unacceptable."
Unfortunately, these condemnations don't really amount to much. In terms of real penalties, the OHSA has proposed a fine of just $15,625. Considering the fact that Amazon is worth untold billions of dollars, this fine represents nothing more than a joke. That being said, federal authorities are somewhat constrained by America's laws, which prevent stricter consequences.
Amazon is Not the Only Negligent Employer in New York
Amazon might be in the headlines, but it is not the only company putting employers at risk. On April 25th, it was reported that a construction worker had fallen down a ventilation shaft in Midtown. He was working on the infamous East River Tunnels, which are owned by Amtrak. These are some of the most dangerous tunnels in the entire nation, and construction workers are constantly suffering injuries in these cramped, dark, and wet spaces. On April 26th, a contractor was struck and killed while working on Grand Central Parkway.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Workers' Comp Attorney in New York?
If you have suffered injuries at an Amazon warehouse or any other workplace in New York, it is best to contact a workers' comp attorney. Book a consultation with the Glassman Law Group, and we can assess your unique situation before recommending the best course of action. The Department of Labor is right – Amazon's treatment of its employees is totally unacceptable. But they're not the only ones putting people in danger. With our help, you can get the compensation you need for your injuries and hold negligent employers accountable. Reach out today to get started.