Amazon plans warehouses dedicated to hazardous materials

This summer, Amazon will launch a number of warehouses designed specifically to hold hazardous materials, such as the bear mace that caused some of its employees grief last year. The company has been developing these facilities for months, it confirmed in a recent report, including a 500,000sqft fulfillment center that will open in Mississippi in coming weeks. These facilities will be home to products that range from common cleaning agents to nail polish.

Amazon confirmed plans to open warehouses dedicated to hazardous materials, telling Wired that it began developing the facilities before a bear mace incident last December that sent several employees to the hospital. The development kicked off with an 80,000sqft test facility in Virginia, the company said, paving the way for the 500,000sqft Mississippi facility it will launch this summer.

The facilities are 'specially engineered' for these risky products, which can include things like flammable items, potentially troublesome aerosols, cleaning agents, and other similar items. The employees at these facilities will be trained in dealing with potential issues that may happen, such as hazardous liquid spilling.

As well, and in regards to risks that may be present outside of its warehouses, Amazon will only ship products from these facilities over ground, not air. That's not to say that Amazon ignored these potential problems until now, however — the company was already taking a number of safety steps, including using safety rooms in existing warehouses and other solutions.

The report points out that by building these dedicated facilities, the company will be able to centralize the items for which there is a growing demand; it'll potentially help reduce any safety issues that could result elsewhere. The company already has dedicated facilities for select other products, including clothing.