Following an incident inside one of Amazon's warehouses that injured 24 people, the company is reportedly building a special warehouse in which to store hazardous and potentially dangerous items.
The first one is set to open this summer. In one of its warehouses last year, an exploding can of bear repellent sent 24 workers to the hospital, prompting the company to pull thousands of bear repellent and pepper spray products from 30 fulfillment centers in the United States.
Amazon Is Doubling Down On Safety
As Wired reports, Amazon also stapled the packaging on the items in an effort to prevent leakage. It's now handling bear repellent items with greater care. For example, only humans have been instructed to handle the items, instead of throwing robots into the mix.
In addition, Amazon is also holding manufacturers to higher safety standards over their packaging. In some warehouses, there are already areas and rooms with stricter safety measures for certain times, such as being enclosed with fire-rated walls.
Before last year's incident happened, Amazon apparently was already working on safer fulfillment centers, as there had been other similar incidents related to the bear repellent. For instance, Amazon covered an 80,000 square-foot test site in Virginia last year to make it more suitable for hazardous items.
The first of Amazon's three brand-new warehouses is going to open in Mississippi in the next few months. It'll be much smaller than Amazon's typical fulfillment centers at just 500,000 square feet. These new locations will sport designated storage areas for flammable goods, oxidizers, and aerosols. They'll also have special sprinkler systems in case of emergencies. Amazon will give staff proper training when it comes to handling spills. Deliveries, meanwhile, will be handled entirely on the ground and not on planes.
What This Means For You
For staff, that means a heightened standard and protocol for safety; for customers, on the other hand, that means such items might take longer to arrive on their doorstep. Amazon has been slowly rolling out one-day shipping for all Prime subscribers, and it's unclear if hazardous items will be included in its new sped-up delivery perk. Still, it's hard to complain when Amazon seems clearly motivated by placing greater emphasis on staff safety.
Amazon has yet to specify exactly when its new warehouses will open, but as always, make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more. In the meantime, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!