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·         Robot Punctures Bear Spray Can, More Than 50 People Sickened at New Jersey Amazon Warehouse, Town Says

·         Bear repellent accidentally discharges in Amazon warehouse, sickening dozens of workers

 

 

Robot Punctures Bear Spray Can, More Than 50 People Sickened at New Jersey Amazon Warehouse, Town Says

Accidental discharge of bear repellent sickens workers at Amazon Fulfillment Center in Robbinsville, New Jersey

 

By NBC10 Philadelphia

Dec 5, 2018

 

More than 50 employees at an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey were sickened Wednesday after an automated machine punctured a can of bear repellent spray.

 

Twenty four of those workers were sent to five area hospitals, Robbinsville town spokesman John Nalbone said. One worker was listed in critical condition.

 

The workers said they were having trouble breathing and felt a burning sensation in their eyes and throats, Nalbone said.

 

A triage station was set up outside and multiple ambulances reported to the warehouse on New Canton Way in Robbinsville, Mercer County, according to the Robbinsville Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 3786.

 

Thirty workers were treated on the scene but not hospitalized.

 

Nalbone said that the first reports came in around 8:50 a.m. Later investigation revealed that an automated machine punctured the 9-ounce bear repellent can, releasing extremely concentrated Capsaican, an active component in chili peppers.

 

The odor was clear by early afternoon, Nalbone said.

 

One wing of the 1.3-million-square-foot facility was evacuated. The incident happened on the third floor, officials said.

 

Amazon released a brief statement:

 

more, including video report [2:10 min.]

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Amazon-Warehouse-Robbinsville-Sickened-Workers-501976671.html

 

 

Bear repellent accidentally discharges in Amazon warehouse, sickening dozens of workers

 

By Lindsey Bever, The Washington Post

December 5, 2018

 

Dozens of employees at a sprawling Amazon.com warehouse in New Jersey have been sickened after an aerosol can containing bear repellent was punctured, dispersing fumes into the air, an official said.

 

About 80 workers reported trouble breathing Wednesday morning after a 9 oz. can of bear repellent was accidentally hit by an “automated machine” inside the 1.3 million-square-foot facility in Robbinsville Township, near Trenton, Robbinsville spokesman John Nalbone told The Washington Post. Nalbone said 24 of the workers were transported to hospitals in the area, one of whom was listed in critical condition. The conditions of the other patients were not immediately known.

 

Amazon said workers are being evaluated and sent to hospitals as needed.

 

“Today at our Robbinsville fulfillment center, a damaged aerosol can dispensed strong fumes in a contained area of the facility,” Rachael Lighty, a spokeswoman for the company, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “The safety of our employees is our top priority, and as such, all employees in that area have been relocated to a safe place and employees experiencing symptoms are being treated on-site. As a precaution, some employees have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment. We appreciate the swift response of our local responders.”

 

Nalbone, with Robbinsville Township, said someone called 911 about 8:50 a.m., reporting that the can of bear repellent had discharged on the third floor of the south wing of the warehouse.

 

He said that the warehouse was not evacuated but that the area where the can discharged was cleared.

 

Bear pepper spray is a nonlethal repellent that causes a bear’s mucous membranes to swell, making it hard for the animal to see or breathe, giving its victim an opportunity to flee, according to the Get Bear Smart Society.

 

It has a similar effect on humans...

 

more

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/12/05/dozens-amazon-workers-sickened-after-bear-repellent-accidentally-discharged-warehouse/