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Mebbe That's Just How They Roll in PA

Remember those foreign students Hershey tricked into working in their little sweatshop? I thought, "Hershey's a Dick!".

Today, I found out Amazon's got a literal sweatshop in Lehigh, PA. Mebbe it's just the way things are in Pennsylvania. If you run a factory, you're expected to be a douche.

During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress. Those who couldn't quickly cool off and return to work were sent home or taken out in stretchers and wheelchairs and transported to area hospitals. And new applicants were ready to begin work at any time.

An emergency room doctor in June called federal regulators to report an "unsafe environment" after he treated several Amazon warehouse workers for heat-related problems. The doctor's report was echoed by warehouse workers who also complained to regulators, including a security guard who reported seeing pregnant employees suffering in the heat.

That's right. They arranged for paramedics in anticipation of the inevitable heat stroke victims. It's not a war. You shouldn't have to set up a triage outside your building for your employees.

Reading further, you find out OSHA was called in, and they did a whole lot of nothing.

OSHA issued recommendations to Amazon Aug. 18 about how it could improve its heat-stress management plan and closed its inspection.

"Several conditions and practices were observed which have the potential to adversely impact on employee safety and health," OSHA's area director Jean Kulp said in a letter to Amazon.

The agency recommended that Amazon reduce temperatures and humidity in the warehouse, but did not give a target temperature. The agency also recommended that Amazon provide employees hourly breaks in a cool area, inform workers and supervisors of the actual heat index or temperature so that they can increase monitoring as it gets hotter, and provide personal fans at each work station.

OSHA does not mandate that work cease when temperatures exceed a specific degree. Instead, the agency gives employers guidelines about what they should do in specific ranges of the heat index.

So, basically, they wrote a letter and gave a bunch of suggestions to Amazon on what they ought to do to improve the situation in the warehouse, but they don't actually enforce anything. And from what I read in the article, it doesn't sound like they actually go back and check on things. They seem to rely on letters sent by the warehouse manager letting OSHA know what actions they've taken.

I understand this is what OSHA's become. They have no power. They aren't encouraged to really do anything to ensure the health and safety of workers. They're just pushing paper until they become a casualty of the "smaller government" advocates (it'll prolly be a Democrat trying to win over conservatives). I just think it's sad that they're so useless.

Stupid Amazon. Don't they know i have Christmas shopping to do? Why do they have to piss me off now? I should say "more", actually. Their Kindle DRM bullshit is annoying to say the least.

By min | December 1, 2011, 2:52 PM | Liberal Outrage