EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is set to attend the first public meeting of Illinois’ Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force on July 18 at Birger Hall on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) at 10 a.m. The meeting is open to the public.

“Nobody should be injured or lose their life because the building they are working in isn’t built to keep them safe in the event of a completely foreseeable hazard. But that’s just what happened in our community on December 10, 2021 when an Amazon facility collapsed and killed six people,” Stuart said. “That’s why I’ve since led the way in the creation of this task force, and why I asked to be appointed to it. I’m looking forward to beginning the process of better protecting Illinois’ working families.”

On December 10, 2021, an EF-3 tornado struck the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville while workers inside scrambled to find safety and both management and safety procedures proved tragically ineffective. One of the building’s two restrooms was equipped as a storm shelter and the six who were killed had taken shelter in the other restroom. The warehouse suffered a direct hit and was destroyed.

Among issues that authorities examined in the aftermath were the lack of a plan tailored to the region, the fact that emergency equipment was inaccessible due to being kept locked up and that many workers did not recall having been asked to complete required training on what to do in an emergency.

Ultimately, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that Amazon did not technically violate the law, but issued a Hazard Alert Letter identifying several recommended changes it said the company should consider making.

“Six people were killed in this incident, so the fact that no violations could technically be identified despite that is not comforting—it shows that we have a problem,” Stuart said. “That’s why the work of this task force is so crucial. Illinois needs a building code that will keep workers safe and families whole, and we have until the current code expires in 2025 to make sure we have one.”

Rep. Katie StuartRep. Katie Stuart

112th District

Springfield Office:
278-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8018

District Office:
2105 Vandalia St.
Unit #16
Collinsville, IL 62234

Phone: (618) 365-6650