Amazon will not face OSHA penalties after warehouse collapse 2022-04-26 15:00:01

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A roof collapse site at the Amazon.com distribution center in Edwardsville, Illinois.

UAV Base | Reuters

Ministry of Labor ordered Amazon To review how it has responded to extreme weather events after investigating a deadly warehouse collapse in Illinois last year, but it does not impose fines or other penalties on it.

In December, an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, severely damaged After a hurricane hit the facility, the 1.1 million-square-foot building’s roof collapsed, while the 40-foot-high and 11-inch-thick walls on both sides of the building fell inward. Six workers were killed, most of them contract delivery drivers.

tragic event cash payment of legislators, As well as the probe By the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is supervised by the Ministry of Labor.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators said Tuesday they had concluded that Amazon’s severe weather emergency measures “meet minimum safety guidelines for harboring storms,” ​​but that a series of safety hazards were identified during the investigation.

at e-mail Investigators, directed at a manager at the Edwardsville warehouse, said they discovered loudspeakers used to alert employees about an unreachable emergency and that a severe weather event response plan lacked location-specific information. The letter stated that some Amazon employees did not know the location of the shelter within the warehouse.

Amazon is not required to respond to the letter, and it is not clear if there are any mechanisms in place to ensure that Amazon implements the agency’s recommendations.

“Six workers died in this event, so that in itself should be a wake-up call for employers,” OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Doug Parker said on a call with reporters. “We make recommendations because under our standards, there is no specific quote that we can issue in light of the actions at Amazon. But like many other agencies within the government that make similar recommendations, many employers take them very seriously.”

All six employees who died were sheltering in a restroom in an area of ​​the building that was hit by the storm. Aaron Brady, the OSHA official who conducted the investigation, said it was unclear why these employees were not told to seek safety at the facility’s designated storm shelter, which is located in another part of the building.

“We know there is confusion over exactly where to report, even though a significant number of employees reported to the appropriate location while others did not,” Pridy said.

Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said the company did what it could to get employees to safety as the fast-moving storm approached.

“Employees receive emergency response training, and this training is reinforced throughout the year,” Nantel said. “The OSHA investigation found no violations or grounds for citations, but we are constantly looking to innovate and improve our safety measures and have already begun to conduct additional safety and emergency preparedness training at our sites and will consider carefully any recommendation from OSHA that we do not already.”

On April 1, the House Oversight Committee I started an investigation in business practices at Amazon. The probe focuses specifically on Amazon’s response to extreme weather events, including the Edwardsville warehouse collapse.

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