Industrial Robot, Factory, Warehouse, Pallet

Amazon Warehouse Workers Hospitalized After Robot "Accidentally" Tears Open Can Of Bear Repellent And Sprays Them

December 7, 2018

Twenty-four Amazon warehouse workers in New Jersey were hospitalized and treated after a robot tore open a can of bear repellent and sprayed them.

Now, officials are saying this was an “accident,” but how much can we really trust the robot here?

All of the workers, one of whom was taken in under critical condition, are expected to be released from their hospitals within 24 hours.  30 additional employees were also treated at the scene.

An official investigation into the incident revealed that “an automated machine accidentally punctured a 9-ounce bear repellent can, releasing concentrated Capsaican.”  Capsaican is the major ingredient in pepper spray.

Even though Amazon’s employees are not unionized, the the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union issued a statement about the danger that robots pose to human workers. They said, “Amazon's automated robots put humans in life-threatening danger today, the effects of which could be catastrophic and the long-term effects for 80 plus workers are unknown," union president Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement. "The richest company in the world cannot continue to be let off the hook for putting hard working people's lives at risk. Our union will not back down until Amazon is held accountable for these and so many more dangerous labor practices.”

Via ABC News