Amazon.com, Inc. is facing $35,000 in fines for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations. The fine was proposed by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which alleges that nine UPS employees were injured in October 2014 when they were handling a shipment package from the online retailer. The package contained Amazing! LIQUID FIRE, a corrosive drain cleaner for transportation. The company was shipping the package by air from Louisville, Ky., to Boulder, Colo.
Amazon Has History of Violating FAA Rules
While being transported, some of the Liquid Fire leaked through the fiberboard box. The UPS workers who came into contact with the box reported feeling a burning sensation and were treated with a chemical wash.
The FAA said that the shipment wasn’t properly packaged and wasn’t accompanied by a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods. The online retailer also failed to properly mark or label the package to indicate the hazardous nature of its contents, the agency said.
Additionally, the federal agency alleges that Amazon.com, Inc. did not provide emergency response information with the package. The company also did not provide required hazardous materials training to employees who handled the package.
“Amazon has a history of violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations, the FAA said in a statement. From February 2013 to September 2015, the online retailer was found to have violated the Hazardous Materials Regulations 24 other times. The agency said it is continuing to investigate the company’s compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to air transportation.
The e-commerce company, based in Seattle, Wash., has 30 days to respond to the agency.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the FAA is stepping up enforcement of hazardous materials safety violations as the online retailer is moving deeper into the world of shipping goods using its own network of airplanes, trucks and warehouses.
Kelly Cheeseman, a spokeswoman for the online retailer, told the newspaper that Amazon takes air cargo safety “very seriously.”
“We ship tens of millions of products every day and have developed sophisticated technologies to detect potential shipping hazards and use any defects as an opportunity for continuous improvement. We will continue to partner with the FAA in this area,” the online retailer told Reuters.
Amazon Online Shopping War
According to a new report, Amazon is beating Wal-Mart Stores in one key area: online shopping. Financial research firm Mizuho released the results of a new survey Tuesday, revealing that Amazon users spend an average of $157 per month, up from $130 in November 2015. On the other hand, Wal-Mart users spend about $27 a month on average, down from $30 in the same time period. Two-thirds of the survey respondents said Amazon is their top mobile shopping website. This is up from 61% late last year. While Wal-Mart garnered 23% support.
Amazon is slaughtering Wal-Mart when it comes to overall sales. The Jeff Bezos behemoth reported $99.1 billion in online sales during the fiscal year 2015. Wal-Mart’s online sales were a tepid $13.7 billion.
Last week, Amazon announced that it is launching AmazonFresh, the retailer’s food delivery service, in London. The move is part of the company’s efforts to expand into Britain’s online market, which is anticipated to nearly double to $25 billion in the five years to 2020.
Shares of Amazon.com, Inc. have soared 11.55% during the past six months.