OSHA Cites Five Companies in Fulfillment Center Fatality

The agency cited the companies in connection with a December 2013 accident at an Amazon fulfillment center in New Jersey.

OSHA has cited five companies following the investigation of a December 2013 accident at an Amazon fulfillment center that killed a temporary worker, according to a report from the agency. The man, Ronald Smith, died from injuries after he was caught in a conveyor system and crushed. The incident occurred at a facility in Avenel, N.J. Four temporary staffing agencies and the contractor who was operating the facility have all been cited by OSHA.

Amazon had used Genco, a third-party logistics provider, as a contractor to direct the temporary workers from four staffing agencies who performed sorting operations. The temporary employees monitored the conveyors and sorting machine to ensure proper positioning of packages traveling along the sorting belts. OSHA has issued one serious violation to Genco for not certifying that a hazard assessment of the facility had been conducted before employees were assigned to work.

In addition, OSHA cited the following temporary staffing agencies for alleged failure to perform a hazard assessment of the facility before assigning employees to determine whether hazards existed: Abacus-The Corporate Services Co., Baltimore, which employed Smith; New York-based Corporate Resource Services Inc., doing business as Diamond Staffing Services; Remedy Intelligent Staffing Inc., doing business as a division of Selective Staffing, Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Staffmark, headquartered in Ohio.

"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, in OSHA's press release. "It is essential that employers protect all workers from job hazards -- both temporary and permanent workers."

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