Stress ‘Top Health & Safety Concern’ In The UK

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Some 70 per cent of health and safety representatives in the UK believe that stress is the top concern facing businesses and their employees these days.

This is according to new research from the TUC, revealing that stress appears to be higher in the public sector, which is most affected by government cutbacks. In all, 93 per cent of reps in central government said stress was a top five workplace hazard, followed by 89 per cent in education and 82 per cent in health services.

Furthermore, the study found that stress is actually the most widespread concern across all 11 UK regions and countries, climbing by 13 per cent in Northern Ireland to reach 78 per cent between 2014 and 2016. It rose by 11 per cent in the north, eight per cent in Scotland and six per cent in the south-west.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s in no one’s interests to have overstretched workforce’s. People who experience high anxiety are less productive and are more likely to take time off. Stress is preventable if staff have reasonable workloads, supportive managers and a workplace free from violence, bullying and harassment.”

Signs of stress include negative or depressive feelings, loneliness and withdrawal, mood swings, loss of motivation, increased emotional reactions, confusion, poor memory, indecision, changes in eating habits, changes in sleep patterns, increased smoking or drinking, and changes in attendance like arriving late or taking lots of time off.

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