Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is facing growing concerns regarding the safety of the people who work in its fulfillment centers.
Amazon did not train employees on workplace safety
The latest revelation by a whistleblower alleges that Amazon cooperated with Indiana officials to cover a workplace safety violation. A man lost his life in 2017 because of negligence from the side of the company. Philip Lee Terry died while working in a forklift accident, but the company tried to shift the blame to the man. The whistleblower’s report implicates the company, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) head of Indian, as well as the governor.
Amazon is accused of having failed to provide the necessary safety training to its employees. The company was to pay penalties of $28,000 following the issuance of citations. However, IOSHA’s director contacted the company and plotted on reducing the fine and shift the blame to the deceased.
However, Amazon has denied the allegations indicating that it cooperated with IOSHA to provide the training records of Mr. Terry. The company stated that it cooperated during the inspection period as well as in follow-up discussions.
IOSHA cooperated with Amazon to stop the investigation
John Stallone, the whistleblower, is the one who conducted the investigations and recorded conversations. Stallone claims that a few days later, the Labour Commissioner’s office summoned him, and Governor Eric Holcomb was present. According to his account, he was asked to end the investigation because of Indian’s ambitions to host Amazon’s HQ2.
After Stallone quit a year later, all safety violations were removed from the record, and penalties reversed. The blame shifted to Terry, citing that the death was a result of “unpreventable employee misconduct.” This was even after co-workers indicated that the company had failed to offer the necessary training.
There are increasing complaints regarding the working conditions at Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Activists are now calling for increased government scrutiny on the company’s practices. On November 25, over 600 workers at the company’s Staten Island fulfillment center signed a petition protesting against working conditions at the warehouse.