Amazon "automated machine" punctures bear spray can, 24 employees hospitalized

Amazon sells several brands of bear spray

Amazon sells several brands of bear spray

The 24 employees were treated at five different art hospitals, ABC News reported.

However, opponents remained unimpressed at failures to tackle the wider problems in the warehouses, and ABC News reported that - despite Amazon workers not being unionised - the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union had issued a statement about the Robbinsville incident.

Robbinsville spokesman John Nalbone told NJ.com that an automated machine damaged a 9-ounce (255-gram) can of bear repellent containing a concentrated amount of capsaicin, an active component of chili peppers.

Self-defense blogs seem to agree that bear spray is less incapacitating than pepper spray made to be used against humans, but it is still quite irritating. The safety of our employees is our top priority, and as such, all employees in that area were relocated to safe place.

Amazon's workforce now includes 575,700 employees globally as well as 80,000 robots known as "Kiva" which operate in warehouses. As a precaution, some employees have been transported to local hospitals for evaluation and treatment. All of the impacted employees have been or are expected to be released from the hospital within the next 24 hours.

Amazon claimed a "full investigation is already underway", thanking emergency personnel who responded to the scene. "We appreciate the swift response of our local responders". Workers were given the okay to return to work later Wednesday evening. Amazon workers are not unionized, but species solidarity supersedes union ties. Between 2015 and 2017, ambulances were called to Amazon warehouses 600 times.

Earlier this year the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health cited Amazon as one of the most risky companies to work for in the US, pointing to seven deaths since 2013 at its warehouses.

Multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos' online marketplace giant has come under repeated fire for the poor working conditions in its warehouses.

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