Amazon won’t say whether the installation of new industrial air conditioning systems at its Carteret, New Jersey warehouse was prompted by an employee’s recent death there — or by worker complaints about intense heat.

But the company was resolute in a statement provided to Gothamist this week, reiterating that the July 13th death — during Amazon’s two-day Prime Day promotion — wasn’t related to working conditions, despite what employees and union leaders have described to multiple news outlets as a sweltering work environment.

The worker has been identified by union representatives, as well as by family speaking to media, as Rafael Reynaldo Mota Frias.

“Our internal investigation determined that the temperature was not a contributing factor in this tragic incident,” Amazon spokesman Sam Stephenson said by email. He made a similar statement to Gothamist last month as well. “There have been rumors suggesting that the employee’s passing was work-related — those statements are false.”

That death and two others at New Jersey facilities in the following weeks are being investigated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, as is standard practice for deaths in most private sector workplaces. Those investigations can take up to six months. The inquiries come amid a time of increased scrutiny regarding Amazon — with calls for more oversight of the retail giant coming from congressmembers and activists alike, and a federal investigation into its workplace practices ongoing.

Amazon hasn’t made any statement as to whether the two other recent deaths could be work-related, but Stephenson said this week “we fully expect that [OSHA] will reach the same conclusion” as Amazon had about Mota Frias’ death.

NBC News first reported the installation of new industrial air conditioning on Monday, citing accounts from unnamed employees and photos from inside the facility. It also cited staffers saying that managers at the Carteret warehouse, known as EWR9, have started handing out more water and snacks, have encouraged workers to take more breaks, and have posted signs in bathrooms indicating dehydration risks through urine-color-coded charts.

Stephenson declined to address several questions from Gothamist about the new air conditioning systems, including what the extent of the upgrades would be and if any were taking place at other Amazon facilities. He wouldn’t say if plans for the upgrades predated the recent deaths, or if they’d preceded complaints of strenuously hot working conditions — as described by workers anonymously to the Daily Beast, and reaffirmed Wednesday to Gothamist by Jordan Flowers, one of the co-founders of the Amazon Labor Union.

Flowers said the union has heard directly from workers who’d been at the site with Mota Frias that they were in intense heat. He said there was “no AC, no fans, nothing to keep the workers cool” — which contradicts Stephenson’s description of Amazon facilities.

The Amazon spokesman said the company installed climate control systems in its fulfillment centers “many years ago.” His email didn’t specifically address systems at the Carteret facility.

“We also provide fans for additional comfort,” he said. “Our climate control systems constantly measure the temperature in our buildings, and our safety teams are empowered to take action to address any temperature-related issues.”

Employees are provided water throughout the day, and not only during extreme heat, he said.

The spokesman also wouldn’t say if Amazon collects historical data about temperatures in its facilities, and if it had any data for the Carteret facility from this summer.

Mota Frias’ death occurred on a day when temperatures in Carteret reached 96 degrees.

Last month, Chris Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union, wrote on Twitter that he’d learned “disturbing details” of Mota Frias’ death, but didn’t say at the time how he came by the information.

“I was told not only did they take nearly a hour to call 911, he was unconscious on the floor for over 20 mins,” Smalls wrote. “He warned management of chest pains (but) they kept him working in path as a water spider in heated conditions.” Water spider is an Amazon term for a worker who helps keep other employees stocked with needed materials.

In an interview with Gothamist, Flowers said workers told the union that Mota Frias “was actually asking the manager for help, and the manager just made him continue working, and he ended up passing out on the floor.” That’s also in contradiction of the description of events Stephenson has provided.

The spokesman has previously said Mota Frias told another employee he’d had chest pains the evening before his shift, but that he didn’t share that information with coworkers or managers onsite. Stephenson also said once Mota Frias collapsed, an onsite medical expert immediately began emergency treatment, 911 was called right away and emergency responders arrived within 16 minutes.

Flowers told Gothamist he rejects Amazon’s assertion the death wasn’t work-related.

“He was an on-the-clock worker. So how was it not work-related, if he was on the clock?” he said.

Amazon has been ramping up its infrastructure in New Jersey and other states. Five years ago, the company had 5,500 workers in New Jersey, and now employs 49,000, Nicole Rodriguez, research director at New Jersey Policy Perspective, told Gothamist earlier this month.

A report she co-authored with a Rutgers University professor showed injury rates among New Jersey’s Amazon workers increased by 54.3% from 2020 to 2021. Nationwide, the injury rate at Amazon facilities increased by 19.6% in the same period.

Earlier this month, employees walked out of an Amazon hub in San Bernardino, California, protesting pay and working conditions, including “illness-inducing heat,” the San Bernardino Sun reports.

In mid-July, OSHA inspected Amazon warehouses in the areas of New York City, Chicago, and Orlando for potential hazards, based on referrals from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The district office is also asking current and former Amazon warehouse workers for accounts of their experiences via its website.

Members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation have called on OSHA to investigate employee injury rates at Amazon.

And a $432 million deal between Amazon and the Port Authority to open an Amazon facility at Newark Airport fell apart in July, when the parties “mutually concluded” they couldn’t come to terms on issues with the lease, the Port Authority said at the time. Activists had said the company wouldn’t commit to workplace and environmental standards they’d laid out, and celebrated the decision as a victory.