Some Amazon employees are reportedly experiencing emotional distress in the workplace and threatening self-harm.
An investigation from The Daily Beast found that "emergency workers were summoned to Amazon warehouses at least 189 times for suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health episodes" between October 2013 and October 2018, at 46 fulfillment centers around the United States.
The Daily Beast's report was based on interviews with current and former employees and a review of 911 call logs and police records.
"It's this isolating colony of hell where people having breakdowns is a regular occurrence," former Amazon employee Jace Crouch told the Daily Beast. An anonymous employee told the Daily Beast that the company treated its workers like "robots."
The Daily Beast noted that its report was "not evidence that Amazon staffers experience suicidal episodes more often than other American workers, in or out of a warehouse." And the rate of suicide in the United States is on the rise — the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention estimated that there were 1.4 million suicide attempts in the US in 2017.
Amazon disputes this characterization of its work culture and notes that it offers employees a number of resources when it comes to mental health.
"The physical and mental well-being of our associates is our top priority, and we are proud of both our efforts and overall success in this area," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. "We provide comprehensive medical care starting on day one so employees have access to the care when they need it most, 24-hour a day free and confidential counseling services, and various leave and medical accommodation options covering both mental and physical health concerns."
But this isn't the first report to paint a picture of difficult working conditions at Amazon. Employees have spoken to Business Insider about feeling like "robots" due to intense surveillance in the warehouses, while others described how their coworkers would urinate in trash cans because they didn't have enough time to rush to the bathroom.
Investigative journalist James Bloodworth worked undercover in an Amazon warehouse in the UK. He told Business Insider: "The atmosphere is what I imagine a prison feels like. You felt like you were walking on eggshells."
Business Insider also previously interviewed 30 current and former Amazon employees about what it's like to work at the company during the holiday rush. One employee called the company's peak season "brutal," while others described working long shifts that left them in physical pain.