Twenty-four employees of an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey were hospitalized after a robot accidentally dropped a waste canister.
A 255g-dose repellent containing concentrated capsaicin, a blend of chili peppers, was pierced by an animal According to local media, the machine automatically fell off the shelf.
The incident occurred Wednesday in a warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey, a suburb of Trenton.
According to reports, one of the 24 employees was sent to hospital in a critical condition, but on Wednesday night, all staff should be released within 24 hours.
In a statement, an Amazon spokesman said: "A damaged aerosol can release strong fumes in a closed area of the clinic facility. The safety of our employees is our top priority. Therefore, all employees in this area were taken to a safe place.
Employees were "taken to hospital as a precaution," the spokesman said.
The incident has re-emerged highlighted conditions in Amazon camps that have been criticized in the US and the UK for poor work practices and worker safety over worker safety.
A June 2004 investigation by the Guardian listed several incidents of incapacitation in camps in Amazon including the fulfillment center in Robbinsville.
Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Union for Retail, Wholesale and Department Store, said, "Automated robots from Amazon are putting people in mortal danger."
He continued, "This is another outrageous example of how the company is putting the health and safety of its employees in the black and we can not stand for it. The richest company in the world can not always be left out of the woods to endanger the lives of hard-working people. "
Bernie Sanders, the US Senator who ran for Democratic presidency nomination in 2016, is among the politicians who have raised concerns over Amazon's labor practices and low pay.
In the UK, ambulances were called 600 times in Amazon department stores between 2015 and 2017. The company denied that it had bad working conditions.