Amazon employees at a Colorado fulfillment center lashed out at the e-retailer for forcing them to “literally walk over a dead body” after a co-worker suffered a fatal heart attack.
Rick Jacobs, 61, was about to head home after working overnight at the DEN4 warehouse in Colorado Springs when he collapsed to the floor at 5 am, an Amazon spokesperson told KKTV-TV.
However, managers at the plant allegedly cordoned off his body using cardboard boxes while staffers arriving for their morning shift were forced to continue working just feet away.
Amazon made employees “literally walk over a dead body to make you more money,” an anonymous staffer at the facility wrote on Reddit.
The staffer’s lengthy post laid out a horrific scene as workers showed up for their shift.
“When I arrived at 6:30 this morning I saw the fire truck ambulance and police department still at the facility,” the post said. “Not knowing why they were there we all went in clocked in and started to work.”
“That’s when we found out from a night shift employee (not from management) that someone had died and that person was still at the facility,” the post continued. “There were some employees who were less than 10ft away from the deceased (who was covered) working.”
“I cannot even begin to say how upset and angry I am at the disrespect for human life from Amazon and our general manager Nick McKeen.”
The note went on to say: “No one should have been told to work alongside a dead body, particularly after witnessing it. … No warnings before walking into the building. No on-site counselor.”
The employee added: “Simply a flyer put out days later informing us of how to receive mental health counseling.”
An Amazon spokesperson said: “It is very disappointing to see that a factually incorrect social media post is overshadowing this tragic event.”
Amazon would not comment on what was factually incorrect about the post.
The Post has reached out to McKeen seeking comment.
Contact information for Jacobs’ family was not immediately available.
“We’re deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague who passed away on Dec. 27,” the Amazon spokesperson told The Post.
“Our condolences are with his family and friends during this difficult time and we’re offering services and support to them and his colleagues as they grieve.”
The sentiments expressed in the social media post echoed those in news media reports linked to the incident.
“Finding out what had happened after walking through there had made me feel very uncomfortable, as there is a blatant disregard of human emotions at this facility,” an anonymous employee told The Guardian.
“Management could have released those employees affected by offering [voluntary time off], so that they did not need to use their own time, but nope, that did not happen.”
Jacobs’ death was the fifth last year at an Amazon plant. Three of the deaths were at facilities in New Jersey and the fourth was at a warehouse in Pennsylvania.
One of those who died reportedly suffered from cardiac arrest while another sustained a head injury after falling off a ladder.
Another fatality was said to have been caused by a forklift accident. The fourth death is still under investigation.
The four deaths prompted an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency which operates under the auspices of the Department of Labor. The probe is ongoing.
In November 2021, two Amazon workers employed at the company’s Bessemer, Ala., facility died within hours of each other.
In total, six people are said to have died at the Bessemer facility in 2021.
In December 2021, six Amazon warehouse employees died after a tornado ripped through the facility in Illinois.
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