Working at Amazon Could Literally Make People Lose Their Minds

Undercover worker: "We are machines, we are robots."

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Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg / Getty Images

People often claim that their jobs make them crazy, but after looking at the results of  a BBC investigation into work conditions at a UK Amazon Warehouse, a stress expert said that working at the facility actually could cause “mental and physical illness.”

Undercover reporter Adam Littler, 23, got a job as a “picker” in a Swansea warehouse. He recorded his night shifts during the holiday season, a time in which Amazon employs 15,000 extra staffers.

Littler was given 33 seconds at a time (a countdown going off on a handset) to collect individual orders throughout the 800,000 square foot warehouse, walking nearly 11 miles a night. If he was too slow or made a mistake, the handset beeped and there was a risk of disciplinary action.

“We are machines, we are robots, we plug our scanner in, we’re holding it, but we might as well be plugging it into ourselves,” he said.

Amazon told the BBC that workers’ health is a top priority.