Amazon to build specialised warehouses for dangerous items after bear repellent hospitalised dozens of employees
Amazon is set to begin building separate warehouses for dangerous and hazardous items, after a can of bear repellent exploded last year sending dozens of workers to hospital.
According to Wired, Amazon is developing numerous facilities dedicated to handling “controlled” goods, fitted with special sprinkler systems and separate storing areas for different classifications of items.
It is reportedly due to open its first 500,000sq ft specialised fulfilment centre in Mississippi this summer, which will handle hazardous materials with a high internal safety classification and give employees special training for handling the products.
An Amazon spokesperson also confirmed to Gizmodo that these items will only be delivered via ground vehicle and not by air, meaning they may take longer to be delivered.
Though Amazon is understood to have been planning these facilities since before the bear repellent incident, the event is likely to have accelerated its development.
The retailer now believes that the aerosol can came loose from its clamshell packaging and fell to the ground, striking another object allowing fumes to escape and affect staff.
In direct response to the incident Amazon removed thousands of bear repellent and pepper spray items from fulfilment centres across the country, prevented these items from being handled by robots in future, and began stapling shut their packaging to prevent “any accidental discharge”.
This comes after Amazon was voted one of the most dangerous places to work last month by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health for the second year running.