In the event of a medical emergency at an Amazon warehouse, the company tells its workers not to call 911 but to call security instead, according to a company policy document obtained by Huffington Post.
The document says:
In the event of a medical emergency, contact Security. Do Not call 911! Tell Security the nature of the medical emergency and location. Security and/or Amcare will provide emergency response.
Amcare is Amazon’s own in-house medical services team. The document was obtained as part of HuffPost’s investigation into the sudden death from cardiac dysrhythmia of Amazon warehouse worker Jeff Lockhart Jr. Lockhart died while on a night shift at the Chester, Virginia, warehouse in 2013.
Lockhart was found collapsed on the floor at 2:30 a.m. during his shift on January 18, one minute after his last reported stop inside the warehouse. Despite the policy, employees did call 911, at 2:39 a.m., according to HuffPost. The ambulance arrived at 2:49 a.m. He was pronounced dead at 4:06 a.m.
A spokesperson for Amazon told Business Insider that its policy exists because Amazon’s facilities are often larger than neighbouring towns and its medical personnel can often be closer to the scene than the local ambulance. The spokesperson said in an email:
The number of associates working at one of our facilities is similar to the population of a small town, so we have staff on site dedicated to providing immediate support in the event of medical issue. The Amcare staff provides the first response and, along with the security team, directs emergency vehicles and personnel once they arrive at a facility – which are often the size of 28 football fields or more.
There are few companies that have facilities as large as Amazon’s. So it is not clear how common a “no 911” policy might be. An employee for Ocado, the UK-based online grocery delivery company that operates massive “customer fulfillment centres” on the same scale as Amazon’s warehouses, told Business Insider that he had never heard of such a policy in that company. A spokesperson for Ocado did not respond to a request for further information. Walmart also did not respond to a request for comment.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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