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State rep holds hearing on warehouse-building safety

State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, and Chairman Marcus C. Evans, D-Chicago, led a joint subject matter hearing on Monday after a tornado caused the collapse of an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville this winter.

“Our priority in calling this hearing is workers’ safety. Employees should not have to worry about losing their lives while on the job,” Stuart said today in a statement. “The Amazon warehouse was built to the highest state safety standards but our highest standards may not be enough, as evident by the death of six workers in the warehouse collapse.”

She noted: “Many other buildings in our area are built with the same method as the Amazon warehouse and we should be proactive to prevent further tragedies by examining the building codes and how they are being enforced. We may need to implement tornado shelters or safe rooms in such buildings when they have a larger workforce.”

“Building construction is only one part of the problem. Workers need to be trained on disaster safety and should be confident on where to go when a tornado or another natural disaster strikes. We will be looking into the frequency and quality of disaster safety training in these warehouses. Additionally, we need to establish that our emergency services have the training and resources they need to address disasters like this tornado.”

“The testimony we heard from experts in the hearing will guide me and my fellow legislators as we continue to research what actions the General Assembly can take to protect Illinois workers. My fellow Metro East legislators and I will take the necessary actions to meet local needs and ensure the safety of workers. We eagerly await the OSHA report on the warehouse collapse to see their recommendations.”

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