Dozens and dozens of times over five years, calls were made from Amazon warehouses to 911 dispatchers about men and women on the brink.
There was the suicidal employee in Hebron, Kentucky, who police said “is pregnant and threatening the baby” in December 2016. The 22-year-old woman in Joliet, Illinois, who said she wanted to “stab herself in the stomach” that same month. And the young man who threatened to “jump from [the] second floor” of the warehouse in Chester, Virginia, in January 2015.
Between October 2013 and October 2018, emergency workers were summoned to Amazon warehouses at least 189 times for suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts, and other mental-health episodes, according to 911 call logs, ambulance and police reports reviewed and analyzed by The Daily Beast.
Amazon, founded by the now-richest man in the world, has long faced criticism about working conditions at its warehouses: the high-pressure pace, the stultifying boredom, the timed bathroom breaks, and the digital surveillance that monitors performance.
The 911 calls and police reports collected through open-record requests are not evidence that Amazon staffers experience suicidal episodes more often than other American workers, in or out of a warehouse—but they do offer a visceral, real-time glimpse of employees on the edge.
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