As reported by the port of Engadget, a robot operating through an Amazon warehouse in Robinsville, New Jersey, pierced a can containing a deterring agent. Spray substances cause asphyxiation and temporary blindness. As a result of the incident, more than two dozen employees of the warehouse, which employs more than 3,000 people, were hospitalized. According to the news agency ABC News, one person was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition, but later his condition stabilized. Three dozen more employees were assisted on the spot.
Amazon provides a minimum of details. Initial statements said that the canister containing the caustic chemical fell off the shelf. However, the representative of the mayor’s office later clarified that one of the robots working in the warehouse pierced a 255-millimeter container containing a toxic substance. What kind of car opened the container – not specified.
The official statement of the corporation focuses on the fact that all employees had corporate insurance and all leave the hospital after a day.
“The safety of our employees is always a priority for us. A full and comprehensive incident investigation is currently underway. We would like to thank everyone who helped us deal with the aftermath, “the report said.
After the incident and the evacuation, the employees who were not injured” were transferred to safe premises and resumed work. “
According to the latest data from the fire department of Robinsville, the incident affected only the southern wing of the third floor of the warehouse. Rescuers arrived quickly localized and neutralized all hazardous substances in the room. Nothing threatens the residents of the city.
NEW: It was a bear repelling, aka pepper spray, sending 24 Amazon Workers in Robbinsville to hospitals, 1 critical. Quick response by @ IAFFLocal3786 My story tonight @NBCNewYork pic.twitter.com/BybbzmDUJh[19659003[—BrianThompson(@brian4NY)December52018
] Engadget recalls that Amazon is at the head of technologies and processes to automate the delivery of goods to end-users. The company's warehouses use both Robo-Stow industrial manipulators and camera-equipped mover robots. Machines help in everything: from moving small goods through a warehouse and ending with unloading trucks that bring goods to warehouses.
At the same time, it is noted that the company is constantly criticized for not very suitable working conditions in its warehouses. Earlier this year, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (National Council for Occupational Safety and Health) put the company on the Dirty Dozen list, which included the most dangerous places to work in the US . Last month, in the American city of Baltimore, the wall of one of the Amazon offices collapsed, unable to withstand the onslaught of the hurricane and taking with it the lives of two people. In fairness, it is worth noting that the incident is associated with catastrophic weather conditions.
Experts say that industrial robots designed for physical interaction with people in a joint working environment can actually reduce the risk of people getting various injuries at work. At the same time, they, like people, are not protected from mistakes. Some of these errors can lead to fatal consequences. For example, in 2015, one of the robots of the Volkswagen factory killed a 22-year-old employee, grabbing and throwing him into metal plates. Last year, companies that took part in the creation of the robot used at the Ventra Ionia Mains plant in Detroit were sued. According to the case, the robot killed an employee of the plant, “taking” it for the machine part.
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