Amazon to build dedicated warehouses for hazardous goods

Amazon is preparing to build dedicated warehouses for hazardous goods to be handled but humans and not robots


E-commerce giant Amazon is building a dedicated warehouse that will store hazardous goods. The first warehouse for the hazardous goods was constructed from scratch set to open this summer. The new measure has been taken when an incident happened in 2018 when an exploding can of bear repellent led to hospitalization of about 24 workers.

After the incident Amazon pulled thousands of bear repellent and pepper spray products from 30 fulfillment centres in the US. It had stapled the packaging on the items closed to prevent leakage and its handling bear repellent with greater care. For instance , the products will be handled by humans only and not robots. The company is also holding the manufacturers to higher safety standards over their packaging. Some of the warehouses already have areas and rooms that have sturdier safety measures for some of the items including fire-rated walls but the new warehouses will not replace those entirely.

Reports say that the e-commerce giant was already working on such fulfillment centres before the incident that happened in December, 2018. There were also other incidences related to the bear repellent one. In 2018, Amazon converted a 80,000 squarefoot test site in Virginia to make it more suitable for hazardous items. The first warehouse of the three dedicated to such goods is all set to open in Mississippi in the next few months and at 500,000 square feet it is much smaller than the typical Amazon fulfillment centres.

The new centres include designated storage areas for flammable goods, aerosols and oxidizers and have special sprinkler systems. The staff will also receive training on how to handle spills when the deliveries from such warehouses will be handled entirely on the ground and not using planes. This means that such items will take longer to arrive and could make it difficult for Amazon to meet its one-day Prime delivery goal.

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