FAA Accuses Amazon Of Hazardous Material Violation

Proposing a $350,000 penalty, the FAA says Amazon improperly shipped a corrosive drain clearner by air and that nine UPS workers received treatment after the package leaked.

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Federal authorities this week proposed a $350,000 penalty for Amazon.com over a violation of shipping regulations for hazardous materials.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the e-commerce giant improperly shipped corrosive drain cleaner by air and that nine UPS workers received treatment after the package leaked. The employees were treated with a chemical wash after reporting a burning sensation after coming into contact with the box during its October transit from Louisville, KY, to Boulder, CO.

The FAA alleged that the shipment was not properly packaged and did not include proper declarations and warnings. The agency also said that Amazon did not provide emergency response information with the package and that its employees that handled the package were not properly trained.

Regulators also noted that Amazon previously violated hazardous material guidelines 24 times between February 2013 and September 2015. The company has 30 days to respond following receipt of the FAA's allegations.

Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman told The Wall Street Journal that the company takes air cargo safety seriously and that it uses "sophisticated technologies to detect potential shipping hazards" throughout its millions of shipments.

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