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The New Jersey Department of Labor will investigate deaths of Amazon workers: Details


By TechThop Team

Posted on: 13 Aug, 2022

It adds to an investigation already underway after a third fatality during Prime Day shopping in mid-July.

Adding to a probe underway following a third fatality during the company's annual Prime Day shopping event in mid-July, federal investigators are investigating the death of an Amazon worker and an injury that may have led to another employee's death. In the past month, three Amazon employees have died at company facilities in New Jersey.

According to workers and safety advocates, Amazon's workplace-safety procedures and injury rates have long been criticized as inadequate by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Denisha Braxton, a spokesperson for the Department of Labor, confirmed Thursday that the most recent accident occurred last week at an Amazon facility in Monroe Township, about 20 miles northeast of Trenton.

A second investigation focuses on an accident that occurred at an Amazon facility in Robbinsville on July 24. According to Braxton, the worker who was involved in the accident died three days later.

Police responded to the warehouse, called PNE5, on July 24 after receiving a report that a worker had fallen from a three-foot ladder and struck his head.

He said the worker was conscious and alert when the police arrived. Police learned that other workers had performed CPR before they arrived, he said. According to him, OSHA was notified of the incident the same day the person was transported to a hospital.

An inquiry about the incident in Monroe Township was not immediately answered by the police.OSHA officials declined to provide further information about any of the deaths, citing ongoing investigations. Each investigation has a six-month time limit.

A spokesperson for Seattle-based Amazon said the company is 'deeply saddened by the passing of our colleagues and extends its condolences to their families and friends.'Stephenson said investigations are ongoing and OSHA is reviewing the events on its own, as it often does in such situations.

OSHA launched another investigation last month into a fatality at an Amazon warehouse in Carteret, New Jersey, during Prime Day, Amazon's biggest shopping event ever. There have been no further details released about the death, but news reports identify the worker as Rafael Reynaldo Mota Frias, 42.

The Amazon spokesperson said the Carteret death was not related to work and was caused by a personal medical condition.' OSHA is investigating the incident and we fully expect that it will reach the same conclusion based on the evidence we have at hand,' said the spokesperson.

These deaths come amid broader scrutiny of the company's operations. Following referrals from the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, OSHA officials inspected Amazon facilities in New York, Illinois, and Florida.

An office spokesperson said the civil division of the U.S. attorney's office is also investigating safety hazards at Amazon warehouses as well as 'fraudulent conduct designed to hide injuries from OSHA.'

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