Amazon has filed a lawsuit against the labor department of Washington state over citations and penalties for worker safety violations.

In the lawsuit, which was submitted on September 3 to the Western District of Washington federal court, Amazon requested orders from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries not be enforced to address any risks at the workplace while the business is still appealing the citations.

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The agency, according to Amazon, has not proven any of its claims in the lawsuit.

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The department is aware of the lawsuit, according to agency spokesperson Matt Ross, and will examine it together with the state’s attorney general’s office.

The organization claimed that when it inspected an Amazon warehouse in Kent, Washington, back, shoulder, wrist, and knee injuries at work posed a serious risk due to workplace procedures.

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Workers were expected to perform tasks such as lifting and carrying items at a rapid pace, which increased the risk of injury, according to the report.

When compared to other warehouses, Amazon’s warehouse injury rate has been higher.

This was acknowledged earlier this year by CEO Andy Jassy, who stated that the company was working to improve.

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Labor and safety advocates have long cited the company’s fast-paced warehouses as the source of many injuries.

In addition, lawmakers in California and New York have passed legislation aimed at limiting the use of productivity metrics in such facilities.

Amazon was aware of the hazards at the Kent facility, according to Washington’s labor agency, because regulators had previously discovered similar violations at three other company warehouses.

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Amazon appealed a USD 7,000 penalty imposed by regulators on each of the other facilities.

The agency increased the fine for the Kent facility to USD 60,000 in March, claiming that Amazon was knowingly endangering workers.

The company stated that it rejects the allegations and looks forward to presenting the facts as the legal process unfolds.

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We are contesting a peculiar state requirement that says we must alter our operations before a thorough and impartial hearing on the merits, which we don’t believe is the proper course of action, Amazon said.

The organization also stated in March that it had suggestions for changes Amazon could make to lower injuries, like using height-adjustable platforms to minimize awkward lifting.

The business claimed in the lawsuit that implementing all of the suggested changes would be expensive and severely disruptive to its business.

Amazon has filed an appeal regarding the citations, and the hearing is anticipated to be over in the first few months of 2023.

Source: Business Standard

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