Trending: A reckoning for the gig economy: Why Amazon and Uber are facing new scrutiny over contract workers
Photo via Shutterstock.
Photo via Shutterstock.

The U.S. Department of Labor fined Amazon $7,000 and asked the company to change its practices after it failed to report at least 26 work-related illnesses and injuries at a New Jersey warehouse last year.

Bloomberg reported today that after an inspection this past July, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that Amazon not only failed to report injuries, but also “exposed employees to amputation risks and didn’t provide protective gear.” The government agency also asked Amazon to reconsider its treatment of warehouse workers and said that medical personnel hired by Amazon provided services beyond their expertise.

Unreported injuries range from employees developing neck and back pain from lifting products, to being hit in the nose with a box while unloading a trailer.

Amazon, which posted $25.4 billion in revenue in its most recent earnings report, plans to contest the citation.

“We take safety very seriously, we do not agree with the findings and will be contesting the citation,” Aaron Toso, an Amazon spokesperson, said in a statement.

Amazon continues to hire more employees for its ever-growing network of distribution centers and brought on as many as 100,000 seasonal workers — a new record — at its U.S. fulfillment and sorting centers this year for the holiday season. The company has faced criticism over the past several years over its treatment of warehouse workers.

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