Amazon faces $350,000 fine for shipping a dangerous product that injured nine UPS workers

Amazon box on cushion

Aurelijus Valeiša/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This product injured nine UPS employees.

Amazon is facing a $350,000 fine for poorly managing the shipment of hazardous material via air transportation. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that the fine against Amazon was for violating hazardous material regulations, resulting in injury to UPS package handlers.


Amazon shipped a one-gallon package full of Amazing! LIQUID FIRE, a corrosive drain cleaner, from Louisville, Kentucky to Boulder, Colorado. It leaked during transport and nine UPS employees started feeling a burning sensation after contacting the liquid. UPS says all of the effected employees are “fine” after receiving treatment.

The FAA said the dangerous box was improperly packaged, did not have a declaration for dangerous goods, or a hazardous shipping label, something you would hope a product called “liquid fire” would have. Reading the reviews on Amazon’s site show just how dangerous it can be.


The fine, if carried out, would be the largest imposed on Amazon, though certainly not the first. The FAA said Amazon has had at least two dozen violation in the last few years.  

“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,” Amazon said in a written statement to Reuters. “We will continue to partner with the FAA in this area.” 

That technology clearly needs some tweaking. Any product with “liquid” or “fire” in the name probably deserves special treatment before being air transported. “Liquid Fire?” That goes without saying.

H/T Reuters | Photo via Aurelijus Valeiša/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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