Amazon fined for safety violations in Spokane
Injury rate at West Plains fulfillment center said to be highest in stateAugust 16th, 2023
The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries is fining Amazon.com Inc. for unsafe conditions at its fulfillment center in Spokane.
Located at 10010 W. Geiger Blvd., the Spokane fulfillment center employs about 2,400 people, and according to L&I, more than 400 worker compensation claims have been filed for work-related musculoskeletal disorders in the three years since that facility opened. That’s the highest rate of injury among Amazon fulfillment centers in the state, according to the state agency.
In addition to the fines related to ergonomic injuries, Amazon is facing penalties for four violations—three considered serious and one classified as general—for noise levels that were too high for employees not wearing hearing protection.
The fine is set at $85,800, and Amazon has 15 days to appeal. The e-commerce giant has appealed fines for similar safety violations at three other facilities in the state, and all three of those appeals are active.
But because of the previously detected infractions, L&I considers the company to be aware of the working conditions and classifies the latest violations as “willful.” Consequently, the fines are higher for the infractions in Spokane.
According to the Journal’s most recent list of Spokane County’s Largest Employers, Amazon employed a total of 3,724 at all its facilities here, which ranked it as the fifth-largest employer in the county. The company has about 90,000 employees throughout Washington, making it the largest private employer in the state, according to Puget Sound Business Journal data.