Amazon warehouse staff ‘forced to go back to work’ after fellow employee’s heart attack death during shift

AMAZON staff were forced to go back to work within moments of seeing an employee suffer a fatal heart attack, it was claimed yesterday.

Billy Foister, 48, was allegedly left lying on the floor of a warehouse for 20 minutes before anyone noticed.

Billy Foister, 43, collapsed at an Amazon warehouse during his shift last month
An Amazon worker picks items from a shelf at a warehouse in New York (stock image). An employee collapsed and died of a heart attack in Ohio last month
AP:Associated Press

Mr Foister, who scanned and stocked shelves for the internet giant, collapsed at a facility in Etna, Ohio, last month.

His heart attack came just a week after he’d visited a medical clinic complaining of chest pains and a headache.

He was given two drinks to combat dehydration and sent back to work, the Guardian reported.

Mr Foister’s grieving brother Edward told the paper he was shocked his brother was on the floor dying for so long before an Amazon floor monitor spotted him.


He asked: “How can you not see a 6’3” man laying on the ground and not help him within 20 minutes?

“A couple of days before, he put the wrong product in the wrong bin and within two minutes management saw it on camera and came down to talk to him about it.”

According to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, six Amazon workers died on the job between November 2018 and April 2019.

The group included Amazon on its 2019 “Dirty Dozen” list of the most dangerous employers in the United States.


At the Etna warehouse alone, 28 calls to 911 were made between January and March 2019.

An employee who worked the same shift as Foister told the Guardian that after he died, they were immediately “forced to go back to work.”

They said: “No time to decompress.

“Basically watch a man pass away and then get told to go back to work, everyone, and act like it’s fine.”

Amazon said they responded to Foister “within minutes” – but Edward blames the company for his brother’s death.

He should have been sent to the hospital, not just sent back to work just to put things like toothpaste in a bin so somebody can get it in an hour

Edward FoisterBilly Foister's grieving brother

He added: “There was no reason for my brother to have died.

“He went to AmCare complaining about chest pains.

“He should have been sent to the hospital, not just sent back to work just to put things like toothpaste in a bin so somebody can get it in an hour.

“It seems Amazon values money way more than life.

“If they did their job right, I wouldn’t have had to bury my little brother.”

In March, at the same warehouse, another worker died after going into cardiac arrest.

In a 911 call, a supervisor tells another employee to “go back to work.”

In January 2019, Linda Becker, the widow of Thomas Becker, sued Amazon after her husband had a heart attack while toiling at the company’s Joliet, Illinois, warehouse.

An Amazon rep told the Guardian they “work hard to provide a safe, quality working environment for the 250,000 hourly employees across Amazon’s US facilities.”

Parts of this article originally appeared on the New York Post


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