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Lawrence Halprin Quoted in Inside OSHA Article on OSHA Amazon Citations

Keller and Heckman Partner Lawrence Halprin was quoted in the Inside OSHA article, “Attorney Says OSHA Amazon Citation Shows Renewed Action on Ergonomics.” The article discusses OSHA’s recent enforcement action against Amazon over an alleged failure to provide “adequate medical treatment” to warehouse workers. Lawrence noted in a May 2, 2023 client alert that OSHA is focusing on the adequacy of an employer’s medical management practices under the OSH Act’s General Duty Clause as a way of addressing ergonomic hazards.

In April of 2023, OSHA issued a citation to an Amazon fulfillment center in Castleton, NY, alleging a failure to ensure proper treatment for at least ten employees with serious work-related injuries. According to Lawrence, the Castleton citation suggests that even if OSHA cannot demonstrate that work tasks pose a recognized hazard of causing musculoskeletal injuries, it may be able to show a recognition that having injured employees continue to perform certain tasks is likely to aggravate their injuries. He added that this citation reflects OSHA’s effort to establish another enforcement option to address workplace ergonomic hazards in the absence of an ergonomic hazards standard. 

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