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Stress still biggest workplace problem

Date 31 Oct 2006

Stress is still causing huge problems for UK workplaces, according to new research. Excessive workloads, rapid change and job cuts are said to be the most common triggers for rising stress levels amongst employees.

More than six out of ten safety reps questioned found stress to be their most pressing concern at work. According to the TUC, which carried out the survey, this figure has risen by 5% since 2002.� Stress also appears to be more of an issue in larger workplaces. In firms employing less than 50 staff, stress was the top concern for 58 per cent of safety reps, but in organisations with more than 1,000 employees, the figure rises to 67 per cent.

When asked what factors were most likely to lead to problems with stress at work, over three-quarters of the reps said that excessive workloads were to blame. Other issues cited include cuts in staffing levels (57 per cent), rapid change (53 per cent), long working hours (34 per cent) and bullying (33 per cent).

Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, said: “Stress is a preventable problem and UK employers simply aren't doing enough to minimise its impact. 'With time taken off work because of stress costing UK businesses some £3.7 billion a year, it makes no sense for employers to be ignoring the problem. The Health and Safety Executive has made it easy for them and produced new management standards to help them tackle stress. Bosses should be doing all they can to make sure their workplaces become as stress-free as possible.”

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