Twenty-four staff at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey have been hospitalised after a robotic by accident set off a can of bear repellent.
A 255g can of repellent containing concentrated capsaicin, a compound in chili peppers, was punctured by an automatic machine after it fell off a shelf, in line with native media.
The incident occurred on Wednesday in a warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Trenton.
One of many 24 workers was reportedly despatched to hospital in a essential situation, however on Wednesday evening all the staff have been anticipated to be launched inside 24 hours.
In an announcement, a spokesperson for Amazon mentioned: “A broken aerosol can allotted robust fumes in a contained space of the ability. The security of our staff is our high precedence, and as such, all staff in that space have been relocated to secure place.”
The workers have been hospitalised “as a precaution”, the spokesperson mentioned.
The incident has once more shone a highlight on circumstances in Amazon’s warehouses, which have attracted criticism within the US and the UK for poor working practices and a give attention to productiveness above employee security.
A Guardian investigation in June detailed a number of situations of staff left unable to work following accidents sustained in Amazon warehouses, together with the Robbinsville fulfilment centre.
Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Division Retailer Union, mentioned: “Amazon’s automated robots put people in life-threatening hazard.”
He continued: “That is one other outrageous instance of the corporate placing income over the well being and security of their staff, and we can’t stand for this. The richest firm on the planet can’t proceed to be let off the hook for placing exhausting working individuals’s lives in danger.”
Bernie Sanders, the US senator who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, is among the many politicians who’ve raised issues about Amazon’s work practices and low pay.
Within the UK ambulances have been referred to as to Amazon warehouses 600 occasions between 2015 and 2017. The corporate has denied that it had poor working circumstances.