(WSIL) -- U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with several other democrats sent a letter to Amazon urging the company to revisit its safety standards, emergency action plans, and employee training to protect employees during severe weather events.
The request comes after an EF-3 tornado struck an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, resulting in devastating destruction and the death of six people inside the building.
In their letter, the lawmakers spoke in support of a recently-opened Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation into the warehouse collapse and further called on Amazon to prioritize the health and safety of its workforce.
“Unfortunately, severe weather events like the December 10th tornadoes may only increase as climate change makes the world’s weather patterns more volatile and destructive. Determining the causes of this tragedy will be critical to developing improved safety standards as we confront this reality and work to prevent future loss of life. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it has opened an investigation into the collapse of the warehouse in Edwardsville. We believe this is a welcome and necessary action,” wrote the lawmakers.
“We also urge you to develop and implement a stronger emergency action plan at Amazon warehouses. This may include actions to ensure employees are receiving emergency information as quickly and accurately as possible; clear evacuation and shelter-in-place procedures and training to ensure employees understand those procedures; and an accurate accounting of how many employees, including independent contractors, are present at Amazon facilities at any given time,” the lawmakers continued.
Full text of the letter is available here.