NBC News reports that Amazon is reportedly installing new air conditioners and additional fans at its EWR9 warehouse in New Jersey. This comes after Reynaldo Mota Frias, a worker at the facility, died during the Prime Day rush on July 13, a day when temperatures soared to his 92 degrees.
Amazon reportedly blamed Frias’ death on a “personal illness” and denied reports that he told his boss he was unwell. An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation is listed as ongoing.
Another of his EWR9 employees told his NBC that the warehouse gets hot even where there are fans. The company has faced criticism from workers for how it handled workload in the increasingly hot summer months. Last year, some of the company’s warehouse workers in Kent, Wash., said they had to set aside “time to use electricity” during historic heat waves in the United States.
Earlier this year, the incident was cited in a letter from a U.S. lawmaker as the company sought answers about its tough weather policy. It’s unclear, but Amazon doesn’t have the best reputation for keeping its employees safe.
Earlier this year, advocacy groups released a report claiming that the company’s warehouse workers were twice as likely to be injured than those doing similar jobs at other companies. The company has reportedly expanded its statewide investigation into workplace safety to investigate whether the pace it sets for employees is causing them to behave in unsafe ways.
The federal attorney for the Southern District of New York said the investigation is trying to determine whether the company “properly” reported workplace injuries to government officials. It did not immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment regarding the installation and whether other facilities are taking similar steps.
Company spokesman Sam Stevenson told NBC News that Amazon constantly monitors temperatures at its facilities and has a security team that “takes steps to address temperature-related issues.”
According to NBC, EWR9 management responded to Frias’ death by distributing additional snacks and water and posting a chart so workers could determine if they were dehydrated by the color of their urine. The latter seems to be a fairly common piece of advice from companies – it was also mentioned in a leaked leaflet last summer to help employees prepare for life as “industrial athletes.” .