Amazon workers returned to work after improperly treated head, back injuries, feds say

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Amazon faces its fourth federal citation this year after an investigation found injured workers did not receive timely medical care, federal officials announced.

At least six employees at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Castleton, New York, suffered from head and neck injuries and did not receive “timely, necessary medical care,” the U.S. Department of Labor said in an April 28 news release.

The employees came back to work after getting hurt and many of their injuries became worse due to a lack of medical care, the release said.

It’s the fourth citation Amazon has received in 2023 and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has 20 open inspections of Amazon locations in the country, according to the release.

OSHA is proposing $15,625 in penalties, the release said.

Amazon plans to appeal the claims in the citation, a spokesperson told McClatchy News in an email.

“We take the safety and well-being of our employees extremely seriously, and the claims in this citation are just plain wrong so we plan to appeal. Our policy is to encourage anyone who wants or needs outside medical attention to get it immediately, and our on-site clinics are just for first aid – not formal medical diagnosis,” Amazon said in a statement. “Since 2019, we’ve invested more than $1 billion in safety initiatives and our publicly available data shows that our recordable injury rate and lost time incident rate have dropped by more than 23% and 53% respectively. We also know that there will always be more to do, and we’ll continue working to get better every day.”

Similar citations regarding lack of on-site medical practices were issued to Amazon locations in New Jersey during 2016 and Deltona, Florida earlier this year, federal officials said in the DOL release.

“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,” Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in the release. “The examples uncovered by our investigation demonstrate a callous disregard for the well-being of Amazon’s Castleton employees that is completely unacceptable.”

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