Following the loss of six workers at a warehouse in Illinois, USA, due to a tornado, Amazon is facing criticisms for its health and safety measures. One 26-year-old cargo driver died in the factory restroom, where many employees claimed they were told to seek cover after receiving emergency alerts on their phones. An employee who has worked at the warehouse for three months said, “They made us shelter in place until we left – it was at least two-and-a-half hours in there.” According to a conversation between another victim and his parents, he and the other workers were not ordered to take cover immediately after the first warning siren sounded.

Amazon stated in a statement that tornado warnings were issued between 20:06 and 20:16 local time before the storm impacted the building at 20:27, with events “happening incredibly fast.” The team worked “incredibly quickly” to ensure that as many staff as possible could reach the “shelter in place” area. On Friday evening, December 10, disastrous storms smashed into six US states, killing 100 people and destroying homes and businesses over a 200-mile (322-kilometer) radius. According to the US Department of Labor, an investigation into the building collapse is being conducted by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration.