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An Amazon worker's death from blunt force injuries resulted in a $7,000 fine for the company

An Amazon worker moves boxes on Amazon Prime Day on July 11, 2023 in the East Village of New York City. Amazon holds the annual two-day event, where it offers shopping deals to Prime customers, in the middle of the summer. Amazon Prime Day has brought an estimated 10 billion dollars to the company in each of the last 3 years, as customers look to take advantage of discounts and quick shipping. (Photo by )
An Amazon worker moves boxes on Amazon Prime DaySpencer Platt/Getty Images
  • An Amazon worker died in Indiana in May after his head collided with a conveyor belt.

  • The company was cited for a "serious" safety citation, according to OSHA.

  • However, the maximum amount the company could be fined was $7,000.

Over the past couple of years, Amazon's safety record has come under scrutiny by labor advocates and families of those who have died or been injured while working at its warehouses.

A new report from the Washington Post sheds light on what little consequences the e-commerce giant faces when its workers die on the job, even when state regulators believe Amazon to be at fault for not providing adequate safety.

The paper pointed to a May incident in Indiana, where 20-year-old Amazon worker Caes Gruesbeck succumbed to blunt force injuries after his head collided with a conveyor belt while he traveled on an elevated lift.

According to OSHA records, Amazon, which earns hundreds of billions in revenue each quarter, was slapped with a $7,000 fine, the maximum penalty in the state, even though Indiana regulators found that the warehouse could have done more to fix or manage hazards that were "causing or likely to cause death," the Post reported.

"There's no real financial incentive for an employer like Amazon to change their working environment to make it more safe," Stephen Wagner, an attorney based in Indiana, told the Post.

A study in April that used OSHA's data found that the rate of worker injuries at Amazon was 70% higher than those at similar warehouses, and the rate of serious injuries was double that of other warehouses. OSHA has previously found that several Amazon warehouses failed to report worker injuries in the past.

Regulators have also criticized Amazon's focus on speed at its warehouses, which resulted in workers "awkwardly twisting, bending and extending themselves to lift items," Business Insider previously reported.

However, Amazon has continuously defended its safety record and said it cooperates with investigators. The company has also boasted of its reduction in workplace injuries. According to Amazon, workplace injury rates have reduced by "nearly 15%" from 2019 to 2021, Business Insider previously reported.

"The government's allegations don't reflect the reality of safety at our site," Maureen Lynch Vogel, a spokesperson for Amazon, told the Post.

Amazon declined to comment when reached by Business Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider