16:30 25 November 2013
The BBC has conducted an investigation into a UK-based Amazon warehouse and found that conditions could cause “mental and physical illness.”
23-year-old reporter Adam Littler went undercover as a “picker” at Amazon’s Swansea warehouse. Armed with a hidden camera for BBC Panorama, he recorded what happened during his shifts.
As part of his role in the Amazon job, a handset tells him what to collect and put on his trolley. He is given a set number of seconds to find each product. If he made a mistake, the scanner will beep. In all, staff members walk up to 11 miles a day around the warehouse each on their shift.
"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.
"We don't think for ourselves, maybe they don't trust us to think for ourselves as human beings, I don't know."
Prof Marmot, one of Britain's leading experts on stress at work, said: "The characteristics of this type of job, the evidence shows increased risk of mental illness and physical illness."
"There are always going to be menial jobs, but we can make them better or worse. And it seems to me the demands of efficiency at the cost of individual's health and wellbeing - it's got to be balanced."
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