The brutal conditions of working at one of Amazon’s warehouses are coming to light this week after a big expose from the Morning Call, an Allentown, PA newspaper.Employees were forced to work in heat that hit 114 degrees at a warehouse in Lehigh Valley, PA. Amazon kept paramedics in the parking lot of the warehouse to treat employees who were fainting, suffering from dehydration, or exhaustion.
After employees started to complain OSHA, Amazon began to fix some of the problems.
But overall, it sounds like a pretty bad situation. Here’s a sample:
Goris, the Allentown resident who worked as a permanent Amazon employee, said high temperatures were handled differently at other warehouses in which he worked. For instance, loading dock doors on opposite sides of those warehouses were left open to let fresh air circulate and reduce the temperature when it got too hot, he said. When Amazon workers asked in meetings why this wasn’t done at the Amazon warehouse, managers said the company was worried about theft, Goris said.
“Imagine if it’s 98 degrees outside and you’re in a warehouse with every single dock door closed,” Goris said.
Computers monitored the heat index in the building and Amazon employees received notification about the heat index by email. Goris said one day the heat index, a measure that considers humidity, exceeded 110 degrees on the third floor.
“I remember going up there to check the location of an item,” Goris said. “I lasted two minutes, because I could not breathe up there.”
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