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Health and Safety

Stress

For more information on Stress click here for the relevant chapter of the TUC guide to health and safety "Hazards at Work

HSE research in 2001/2 has revealed about five million workers in the UK experience stress and half a million believe it makes them ill, costing the nation £3.7 billion. The 2003 Stressed Out survey by the Samaritans, the UK emotional support charity, found: "People's jobs are the single biggest cause of stress... with over a third (36 per cent) of Briton's citing it as one of their biggest stressors."

Our hearts and minds can face intolerable pressures from work. Overwork, bullying, low job control and satisfaction, job insecurity, new ways of working, poor work organisation and pace of work can all cause work stress.

The mental symptoms of stress range from sleeplessness and listlessness through to clinical depression and suicide. The physical effects range from appetite loss and nausea through to heart damage and stroke.

A workplace with a lot of stress may suffer from high absenteeism, higher risk of accidents, industrial relations problems, demotivation and high labour turnover.

The HSE have produced Management Standards on how employers should tackle workplace stress. In the absence of specific legislation, these standards, based on the risk assessment approach, are seen as the most useful method of tackling stress in the workplace. The TUC has produced guidance for safety representatives on these Standards. The guide outlines the standards and explains what safety representatives need to do to ensure that their employer takes effective measures to reduce stress. You can view the guide here

Links

Take the TUC stress MOT!

Tackle the hassle: risk assessing stress A step by step Powerpoint guide

TUC It's about time! campaign

Hazards Worked to death webpages

Hazards Get-a-life! webpages:

HSE stress pages

UK National Work Stress Network

TeacherStress web site

The most recent documents available on this subject are:

Stress inaction requries enforcement action
The TUC has welcomed new research showing how managers can take action to prevent workplace stress, but has said those who don't get the message should face a genuine prosecution risk.
PDF version available for download
6 June 2008

TUC response to CIPD research into workplace stress
Commenting on guidelines published today (Tuesday) by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and Investors in People (IIP) on how managers can prevent and reduce stress in the workplace, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “While this research is interesting and useful, the sad fact is that more and more people are having their health damaged by stress in the workplace. The only way the tide will be turned is if the HSE and local authority regulators start taking the issue seriously and prosecute the worst offenders.
4 June 2008

Unions act on education's mental stresses
Unions representing workers in education have issued guidance designed to remedy work-related mental health problems in the sector.
30 May 2008

Work stress causes heart disease
Stressed workers suffer a greatly increased risk of heart disease, a study of UK civil servants has found
25 January 2008

Tragedy highlights deadly teacher stress
Further evidence of the deadly stresses facing education staff has emerged after another teacher suicide.
PDF version available for download
21 December 2007

NHS workloads are stressing staff out
Overworked and overloaded health service workers are so stressed six out of ten say they have considered packing in their jobs in the past year.
PDF version available for download
9 November 2007

Older documents - 64   >

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Northern TUC / HSE Training Day

Related reps and officer training courses from unionlearn.

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Mindful Employer Initiative

UK National Work Stress Network


Please also see the complete list of web site links.