OSHA Investigating Amazon Robot Puncturing Can of Bear Spray



cbs high res 150x150 brooks schuelke

Brooks Schuelke, Esq.
Schuelke Law PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 24, 2019 – Working in a warehouse has its own set of safety rules and workplace hazards. Workers need to be alert and aware of everything going on around them at all times to avoid accidents. It helps if management has good safety procedures that it enforces.

Recently at an Amazon warehouse located in New Jersey, 24 workers were sent to the hospital, one in critical condition, after a robot punctured a can of bear repellent containing chili pepper extract (capsaicin). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating what happened. OSHA may be doing more investigations of Amazon as this is not the first such incident at this particular facility. In 2016, OSHA issued a citation to Amazon for failing to report at least 26 work-related injuries and illnesses.

In September, in another Amazon facility, a worker was run over by a truck and died. Then, in November the Baltimore’s Amazon warehouse saw two workers killed when a wall in the distribution center collapsed during a bad windstorm. Seven months prior, two employees sustained minor injury at an Ohio Amazon warehouse after a roof was damaged by a tornado ripping a 100-foot hole in it. “Yes, accidents do happen,” pointed out Austin workplace injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke, “However, Amazon is one of the nation’s largest employers and it is their duty to provide a safe worksite for employees whether they opt in or opt out of workers’ compensation for workers.”

Of interest is the news that the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) has listed Amazon in its annual “Dirty Dozen” list that names companies it believes compromises workers due to unsafe labor practices. COSH counts nine deaths in Amazon warehouses since 2013.

In Texas, if your employer has workers’ compensation, the claim is under the auspices of the Texas Workers’ Compensation system. “We don’t take those types of cases, but we can refer you,” added Schuelke. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation, then you can file a civil claim. “Those claims we can help you with.”

As a worker, you have the right to take a number of actions, including:
· Ask an Area Director to investigate dangerous conditions/violations at the jobsite
· Ask for emergency procedures information
· Find out how to follow an emergency plan
· Get proper safety training handling toxic substances

For further information on worker’s rights in the workplace, view our updated information page.

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