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Region 2 News Release: 14-1125-NEW (osha 14-042)
June 12, 2014
Contact: Leni Fortson      Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102      215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov      hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites 5 companies following December 2013 fatality of
temporary worker at Amazon fulfillment center in Avenel, NJ

AVENEL, N.J. – On Dec. 4, 2013, temporary worker Ronald Smith died from injuries sustained after he was caught in between a conveyor system and crushed while performing sorting operations at an Amazon fulfillment center in Avenel. Following an investigation initiated in response to the fatality, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited five companies for serious violations, including the contractor responsible for operating the facility, and four temporary staffing agencies.

"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," said Patricia Jones, director of OSHA's Avenel Area Office. "It is essential that employers protect all workers from job hazards-both temporary and permanent workers."

Third-party logistics provider Genco, based in Pittsburgh, was contracted by Amazon to direct the temporary employees from four staffing agencies involved in sorting operations. The employees were required to monitor the conveyors and sorting machine to ensure packages were positioned properly while traveling over the conveyor and sorting belts.

Genco was cited for one serious violation for not certifying that a hazard assessment of the facility had been conducted before assigning employees to work. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could res