Pragmatically, it's a matter of how much advance warning there is, what hardened facilities there are in the workplace, distance to safety for the workers, and the shelter they intend to reach.
On Dec 14, 2021, at 3:20 PM, Brady Arnold <barnold**At_Symbol_Here**XENOTECHLLC.COM> wrote:--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchasHi All,
I would like to get your opinion on a recurring theme in these articles about the tornadoes.
Both the story about the candle factory and the one about Amazon mention not letting employees leave during the tornado.It's being reported as if it's a bad thing, but we don't let people leave while we're under a tornado warning either. They are a lot safer in our building than driving around in their cars.
Is there some kind of liability thing with letting them leave when it may put them in greater danger?
While I don't think threatening to fire them is the way to go, they should know that they do not have permission to leave.
I'd appreciate your insight.
Brady P. Arnold, ASPEHS OfficerSekisui XenoTech913-227-7143
And that fleet of delivery vans with Amazon logos, Amazon cameras to monitor the drivers, with Amazon quotas to fill, and drivers sending pictures of Amazon packages on your doorstep? They are not actually Amazon employees, according to Amazon. So when one of those vehicles mows your kid down while whipping through the cul-de-sac, Amazon claims you can't sue them. It's the delivery company which is acting as an independent contractor, so no skin off Amazon's nose: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/11/amazon-liable-for-crash-because-software-micromanages-delivery-drivers-victim-says/ All a game of pass-the-buck on safety and liability. And, of course, cost.
FedEx tried classifying its drivers as independent contractors and got smacked by the courts for it in 2015 (for behavior dating back to 2000). But with some changes to their classification scheme, FedEx Ground drivers are actually working for one of 5,000 independent contractors. And then there's the whole Uber/Lyft thing with independent contractors.
Regardless, if there's an OSHA violation or fine to be had for inadequate safety training or willful violations in the delivery fleet - well, can't blame us, you have to go after these small companies we hired. No class actions here, move along.
BTW, UPS is the largest single employer in the Teamsters union, so the majority of their workers are actually UPS employees. USPS are unionized quasi-federal employees…who happen to be USPS employees tasked with delivering Amazon packages on Sundays.
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On Dec 14, 2021, at 11:00 AM, Jack Reidy <jreidy2**At_Symbol_Here**STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
The workers also say they didn't receive adequate (if any) emergency response training. Several said that they were actively discouraged from taking time off for natural disasters. One of the victims, his last text to his girlfriend was "Amazon won't let us leave." This was most likely during a break because Amazon has re-instituted their phone ban policy, meaning employees wouldn't be getting weather notifications. This isn't the first time it's been an issue with them, either. Source for all the above: https://theintercept.com/2021/12/13/amazon-illinois-tornado-safety-protocols/Tech companies always say they're "disrupting the industry." I guess Amazon is trying to "disrupt" the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory or something. Hopefully OSHA finally does something, it'll have been long overdue; if they do something, I hope it's something big enough to make even a company the size of Amazon take note.Sincerely,Jack Reidy (he/him)Research Safety Specialist, Assistant Chemical Hygiene OfficerEnvironmental Health & SafetyStanford University484 Oak Road, Stanford, CA, 94305Tel: (650) 497-7614
I think you are right. And they are supposed to hold drills. Monona
Sent: Mon, Dec 13, 2021 7:00 pm
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Did anyone catch that OSHA was at the Amazon Warehouse on Sat?I believe that Amazon warehouse was nominally within "tornado alley" and so should have been equipped with some sort of reinforced sheltering area, since it had no basement.Not sure if folks saw it - but OSHA went to the Amazon Warehouse that was hit by the tornado on Friday - on Saturday.It wasn't exactly clear - why this site was chosen - but they are doing an investigation.I don't know about everyone on the list - but warehouses and the distances to a variety of safety items (fire-extinguishers, exits, first aid, etc.) has started cropping up in a number of discussions. My students indicated that "breaks" and "break times" are greatly reduced due to the distances that have to be traversed between break rooms, and work stations.Additionally, communication - is a huge issue in large spaces - another potential concern.It will be interesting to see what comes from this investigation.
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