Although Amazon posted evacuation maps at the facility showing the location of the designated shelter, officials also found that the location of the shelter in the warehouse was not specifically identified in the written plan.

US regulators has asked Amazon to improve its procedures to deal with severe weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes, which could threaten workers at its warehouses which are located across the country. On this an Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel has said that, “OSHAs investigation did not find any violations or causes for citations, but were constantly looking to innovate and improve our safety measures and have already begun conducting additional safety and emergency preparedness drills at our sites and will carefully consider any OSHA recommendation that we have not already”. Kelly Nantel has also said in an interview that “employees receive emergency response training, which is reinforced throughout the year”. Recently the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has sent a hazard warning letter to the Seattle-based e-commerce giant following an agency investigation into the fatal collapse of a company warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, in December. Where six people died and others were seriously injured in the tornado storm. The hazard warning letter which was sent to Amazon which OSHA made it public says that the investigation raised concerns about potential risks to employees during severe weather emergencies. Later on, Nantel also said that, “The tornado that hit our delivery station was extreme and very sudden, with winds that were much like the force of a category 4 hurricane, and we believe our team did the right thing, moving people to shelter as soon as the warning was issued”.

OSHA

Where six people died and others were seriously injured in the tornado storm.

According to the inspection done by the agency it was found that the company’s severe weather procedures met minimum federal safety guidelines for storm shelters, the company still needed to protect its employees and contract workers. The letter requires Amazon to review its severe weather emergency procedures, but the company will not face any fines or penalties. Meanwhile, Nantel also added “the company’s buildings have emergency plans that identify exit routes and shelter areas”. In interviews with Amazon and contract workers, OSHA officials found that some employees could never recall participating in severe weather exercises or the location of the facility shelter. Adding to this Amazons senior vice president of global delivery services John Felton, had said that, “in December that most of the 46 people in the warehouse headed to a shelter on the north side while a smaller group went to the south end, where the loading docks were located and delivery vehicles were parked”. On December 10 when the National Weather Service declared about tornado warning Amazon has already noted the workers at the warehouse which is known as the delivery station that they just have a little time to prepare to protect themselves. 10 minutes before the tornado started, the agency said managers had already directed to workers to leave. A restroom in response to tornado warnings and other weather alerts.

Kelly Nantel

A restroom in response to tornado warnings and other weather alerts.

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