FAA Announces Two New Potential Hazardous Materials Fines For Amazon

Image courtesy of Alan Rappa

A few weeks ago, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $350,000 fine against online Everything Store Amazon.com for shipping corrosive drain cleaner without properly packaging or labeling it. Now the agency is proposing additional fines for the company over other incidents shipping hazardous materials.

The incidents are similar to the UPS issue with the drain cleaner, which spilled and injured UPS workers back in 2014. These two newly reported incidents also happened back in 2014, and the FAA has proposed a total of $130,000 in civil fines for improperly shipping hazardous materials.

The first offending packages were a box of rust stain preventer shipped from Illinois to Florida. The corrosive substance leaked through the cardboard box, and a FedEx employee caught it at a sorting center in Florida. The FAA has proposed a $78,000 fine for that incident.

The second shipment contained an unspecified flammable gas, and wasn’t labeled as such. It was being shipped from Indiana to California, and the hazardous substance inside the package was identified at the UPS sorting center in Kentucky while the package was en route. The proposed fine for that incident is $52,000.

In a statement, Amazon explained that problem packages are in the minority, and that the company processes “tens of millions of products every day and (has) developed sophisticated technologies to detect potential shipping hazards and use any defects as an opportunity for continuous improvement.”

Out of all of those packages, the FAA has noted 24 incidents where hazardous materials were incorrectly packaged or labeled in shipment, and those substances leaked from at least 15 packages.

FAA proposes two new fines against Amazon.com over hazardous shipments [Reuters]

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