Federal regulators cite contractors after worker’s death in Amazon warehouse
Federal regulators have cited five companies for “serious” labor violations after a temp worker died at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey six months ago, according to a statement released on Friday.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Genco, the contractor that ran the warehouse, for failing to certify that a hazard assessment of the facility had been conducted before assigning employees to work. Four temporary staffing agencies and the contractor responsible for hiring Robert Smith, who was crushed in a conveyer system, were found to have failed to properly assess risks associated with the position.
“Temporary staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for the safety and health of temporary employees,” Patricia Jones, director of OSHA’s Avenel Area Office, said in the statement. She added, “These employers must assess the work site to ensure that workers are adequately protected from potential hazards.”
The action comes a week after the death of another worker, Jody Rhodes, at an Amazon warehouse in Carlisle, P.A., according to a report. The woman died from injuries suffered from crashing a pallet mover into shelves. OSHA is investigating.
Federal investigators have not taken any action against Amazon (AMZN), and have only punished its contractors. Genco, along with the other companies, face $6,000 in penalties and must also prove to OSHA that the issues have been fixed.