Health and Fitness

OSHA says Amazon needs to improve severe weather safety after six died when tornado hit Edwardsville warehouse

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CBS/AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday stated a downstate warehouse that collapsed in a twister in December “met minimal federal safety guidelines for storm sheltering.”

After investigating, OSHA discovered the attainable lack of shelter-in-place drills, and no designated shelter space.

OSHA stated Amazon wants to enhance its extreme climate procedures to guard its staff.

An organization spokesperson stated Amazon has “already begun conducting additional safety and emergency preparedness drills” at websites and can think about the company’s suggestions.”

Six individuals died and one other employee was critically wounded when a twister hit the 1.1 million square-foot Edwardsville warehouse on Dec. 11.

The twister struck at 8:27 p.m. that night. Tornado warnings had been signaled by air raid sirens and push alerts between 8:06 and eight:16 p.m.

Of the 46 individuals inside, 39 made it to the north aspect of the constructing – the place there was a shelter-in-place location. Seven others stayed on the south finish, which was the place all six individuals died and one was injured.

That was as a result of on the south aspect of the constructing, there isn’t any shelter in place location. So, why could not these seven make it north in these essential minutes?

“A small handful, we speculate because of the work they were doing at the time they congregated on the south end of the facility,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel stated in December. Amazon denied allegations that staff at this location aren’t allowed to have cell telephones on the job.

“Employees are allowed to have cell phone. There are rules about what they can do with those phones,” Nantel stated in December. “We do know often times employees put cell phones in their bags and not put on their person but there is no prohibition against it.”

The firm stated that in these key minutes the evening of the twister, leaders used bullhorns to inform staff on the ground and radios to inform drivers heading towards the power of the pending tornado.

On Tuesday, Jack Casciato, a companion on the Clifford Law Offices representing a supply driver who died within the warehouse collapse, stated the legislation workplace is investigating itself.

“It is OSHA’s duty as mandated by Congress to set standards that relate to the implementation of safe work practices, and it’s clear from today’s letter that Amazon was deficient in several areas, as indicated in the OSHA letter to Amazon,” Casciato stated in a information launch.

Casicato is representing 26-year-old Austin McEwen, whose mother and father accuse Amazon of placing income over security and in addition accuse the corporate of failing to guard its staff within the new lawsuit.

McEwen drove for Amazon as an impartial contractor. He was 26.

“Amazon knew a tornado was coming, but made the decision to have our son and others work during a peak delivery season for Amazon instead of evacuating the area,” Alice McEwen stated in January.

The Clifford Law Offices claims McEwen was directed to take shelter in a restroom with 5 others when the concrete construction collapsed and killed all of them.

“Amazon still has not explained why workers were on production lines during what Amazon calls a ‘peak delivery season’ when there were warnings ample time before the tornado struck of a 70 percent chance of one or more tornados. Worker safety should take precedence over delivery of holiday packages,” Casciato stated within the launch Tuesday. “The fact that Amazon runs a facility in ‘tornado alley’ and that OSHA identified workers who were unsure where to go during a tornado and that emergency plans were not specified for this facility is a major issue. Amazon, of all companies, had the means to right these wrongs pre-collapse.” 

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