According to a report from NBC News, Amazon is installing new air conditioning equipment and additional fans at its EWR9 warehouse in New Jersey. It comes after Reynaldo Mota Fris, a worker at the facility, who died during a Prime Day rush on July 13, the day temperatures soared to 92 degrees. Amazon reportedly blames and denies Friese’s death on a “personal medical condition” reports He told the managers that he was feeling unwell. The investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or OSHA) is listed as ongoing.
Another EWR9 employee told NBC that even in areas that have fans, the warehouse heats up. The company has previously faced criticism from workers for how it handles workloads during increasingly hot summers – last year, some of the company’s warehouse workers in Kent, Washington, said they were experiencing a historic heat wave in the region. Had to work during “electric hours”. Earlier this year, a letter from US lawmakers cited that incident to ask the company to respond to its severe weather policies.
While it’s still unclear if heat has any role in Frias’ death, Amazon doesn’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to keeping its employees safe. Earlier this year, an advocacy group published a report claiming that company warehouse workers were twice as likely to be injured than people doing similar work at other companies. And last month, OSHA reportedly expanded a nationwide investigation into workplace safety at the company, looking into whether the speeds it sets for its employees lead them to act unsafely. The US attorney for the Southern District of New York says the investigation is also trying to see if the company “properly reported injuries on the job” to government agencies.
Amazon did not immediately respond ledgeA request for comment on the air conditioning installation in the EWR9, and whether it was taking similar measures at other facilities. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for the company, told NBC News that Amazon continuously measures temperatures at its facilities, and that it has security teams that “will take action to address any temperature-related issues.”
As NBC reports, EWR9’s management has responded to Frias’ death by handing out extra snacks and water, as well as posting charts meant to help workers determine if they were dehydrated based on the color of their urine. Huh. The latter appears to be a relatively generic piece of advice from the company – it was even referenced in a pamphlet leaked last summer that purportedly helped employees prepare for their lives as “industrial athletes”. was there to help.