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Work stress rising

29th October 2010

Cases of work-related stress are soaring in the UK as a consequence of the global economic downturn.

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The findings, in a  report for the British Academy, says the impact has hit those who have lost their jobs as much as those still in the workplace.

University of Manchester sociologist Professor Tarani Chandola, who compiled the document, said in each of the last two years, work stress levels rose by more than 4%, compared to annual rises between 0.1% and 1% from 1992 to 2009.

He added: β€œIt's likely to continue to increase because of the determinants of work stress: changes in working conditions and the government spending.”

Severe stress can trigger depression, anxiety, lead to workplace injuries, suicide and increased risk of heart disease.

Professor Chandola feared that the workers in the public sector would be worst affected and with a greater number of women in the public sector workforce, he expected women workers to be hit particularly badly.

The Health and Safety Executive has set up a number of management standards on tackling work stress which suggest bosses regularly survey employees over potential problems of work-related anxiety or depression in the work force, along with action plans to reduce stress at work.

Neil Carberry of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: "Employers take the well being of staff very seriously.

"As the recent CBI/Pfizer absence and workplace health survey showed, many companies have strategies in place to address issues, such as workplace stress, and recognise the benefits of doing this for both the business and employees alike.”

 

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