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Tuesday, August 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Amazon cited for workplace safety violations in Idaho

Amazon loads trucks to deliver packages to homes and businesses from this logistics center in Nampa, Idaho. (Kate Talerico / Idaho Statesman)
Amazon loads trucks to deliver packages to homes and businesses from this logistics center in Nampa, Idaho. (Kate Talerico / Idaho Statesman)
By Kate Talerico Idaho Statesman

NAMPA, Idaho – Amazon has reached an informal settlement with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration for unsafe workplace conditions at its new, temporary distribution center.

OSHA cited the company in March with four violations, including failing to log an injury to a worker that required treatment beyond first aid.

The modular distribution center went up in November in Nampa, Idaho.

It is serving as a temporary location for Amazon as it prepares to build a 2.6 million-square-foot distribution center. Packages are brought to the logistics center to be loaded into Amazon-branded trucks and delivered to local homes and businesses.

OSHA requires companies to log all work-related injuries and illnesses and compile an annual summary of the injuries. In agency documents, OSHA said Amazon did not log an incident in which an employee injured his hand. The March 26 citation categorized the violation as “other-than-serious,” meaning the violation was not likely to cause death or serious harm.

OSHA proposed an initial penalty of $1,611 in March. As of May 3, that fine had been lifted.

OSHA said the company also violated three other OSHA standards, though they did not result in injury:

Flooring material was uneven and created a tripping hazard for workers. OSHA categorized that violation as “serious,” meaning the violation could have caused serious harm and the employer should have recognized the hazard.

Amazon failed to cover up a hole near a door that measured 2 inches deep. The violation was also categorized as serious.

An outlet box powering a conveyor near a receiving dock was not mounted to a surface. The violation was categorized as “other-than-serious.”

For the two “serious” violation, OSHA proposed a penalty of $4,831. It proposed no penalty for the outlet box violation.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment via email.

Amazon’s Nampa center has no prior history OSHA citations.

In February, the developer of the $130 million permanent distribution center, Panattoni Development Co. Inc. of Newport Beach, California, announced that construction is off schedule. Mayor Debbie Kling said she hopes that construction would start in the next 12 to 18 months.

The city has not been told when the project will be completed, Kling’s spokeswoman, Amy Bowman, previously told the Statesman. Amazon said it is not unusual for it to adjust timetables on new projects.

Amazon still has not acknowledged publicly that the planned center is the company’s. The project was codenamed “Project Bronco” when it came to light last year, and city officials still refer to it that way.

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