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Death of Temp Worker in Workplace Accident Results in OSHA Violations

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has citied five companies in the death of an Amazon employee in a warehouse in New Jersey. This happed one week after OSHA started investigating the death of a worker in another warehouse, this one in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The worker was crushed after being pulled into a conveyor belt while performing sorting work.

The citation named the company operating the warehouse for Amazon as well as four temporary staffing agencies. The facility, operated by Pittsburgh company Genco, was the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Avenel, New Jersey. The other companies cited were temporary staffing agencies Abacus, the company that employed the deceased worker, Corporate Resources Services in New York, Remedy Intelligent Staffing, and Staffmark.

Each of the temporary staffing agencies was cited for not assessing hazards at the facility before sending employees to work , a serious violation. OSHA defines a serious violation as a situation where there is a substantial probability that death or serious injury could result from a hazard that the employer should have known about or already knew.

OSHA stated in a news release, “Temporary staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for the safety and health of temporary employees. These employers must assess the work site to ensure that workers are adequately protected from potential hazards.”

Issues related to workplace safety and temporary workers are increasingly in the news as employers continue to shift from full time permanent employees to temporary workers supplied by a third party and are treated as contractors.

Source: Patriot-News, “OSHA cites five companies after Amazon warehouse death in New Jersey,” Jun. 12, 2014.