Federal workplace safety investigators are investigating the death of an Amazon worker and an injury that potentially led to the death of another employee, adding to an investigation already underway following a third death during the company’s annual Prime Day trade event in mid-July.
The three Amazon workers died in the past month and were employed at the company’s New Jersey facility.
New Occupational Health and Safety Administration investigations bring fresh scrutiny to Amazon’s injury rates and workplace safety procedures, which have long been criticized by labor and safety advocates as being inadequate.
Department of Labor spokeswoman Denisha Braxton confirmed Thursday that the most recent death occurred last week at an Amazon facility in Monroe Township, about 35 kilometers northeast of Trenton. The second investigation relates to an accident that occurred on July 24 at an Amazon facility in Robbinsville. The worker involved in that accident died three days later, according to Braxton.
In a statement, Robbinsville Police Chief Michael Polaski said police responded to the warehouse, called PNE5, on July 24 after receiving a report that a worker fell from a three-step ladder. feet (one metre) and hit his head.
Polaski said the worker was conscious and alert when police arrived. But police were told CPR had been performed on the person by other workers before he arrived, he said. The person was taken to hospital and OSHA was notified of the incident the same day, he added.
Monroe Township police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident.
The two most recent deaths were first reported by the USA Today Network.
OSHA officials declined to provide additional information about any of the deaths, citing open investigations. The agency has up to six months to complete each investigation.
Seattle-based Amazon spokesman Sam Stephenson said in a statement that the company is “deeply saddened by the passing of our colleagues and extends our condolences to their family and friends.”
“Our investigations are ongoing and we are cooperating with OSHA, which is conducting its own reviews of the events, as it often does in these situations,” Stephenson said.
Last month, OSHA launched another investigation into the death of a worker at an Amazon warehouse in the town of Carteret, New Jersey, during the company’s Prime Day trade event, which turned out to be the largest in the company’s history. Federal authorities have not released additional details of the death, but news reports have identified the worker as 42-year-old Rafael Reynaldo Mota Frias.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company’s internal investigation into Carteret’s death shows it “was not a work-related incident, but rather related to a personal medical condition.”
“OSHA is currently investigating the incident and, based on the evidence we currently have, we expect them to reach the same conclusion,” the spokesperson said.
News of the deaths comes amid closer scrutiny of the company’s operations. In late July, OSHA officials inspected Amazon facilities in New York, Illinois and Florida after receiving referrals alleging health and safety violations from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District. from New York. The Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office is also investigating security risks at Amazon warehouses and “fraudulent conduct designed to conceal injuries from OSHA and others,” according to an office spokesperson. .
Photo: A photo taken on August 28, 2019 shows the logo of American online store app Amazon displayed on a tablet in Lille. Photographer: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images
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