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23 November 2000

Tackling workplace stress - a guide for safety reps
Work-related stress is now one of the most serious occupational health problems in the UK. It affects an estimated five million workers - almost a fifth of the entire workforce. This makes it the second largest occupational health problem after back pain in terms of numbers of workers affected.

And trade union safety reps say that stress is back far the most common health problem that they are asked to deal with in the workplace.

The causes of occupational stress are wide ranging and include long hours, shiftwork, violence, bullying and lack of control over work. Stress can lead to physical and mental ill-health as well as behavioural changes which can have consequences not just for the individual worker but also for their family and friends. In some cases, stress at work has led people to commit suicide. In additional to the detrimental impact on the health of individuals, stress results in between five and six million lost working days every year, costing more than ?5 billion to the economy.

LRD's latest booklet looks at the causes, symptoms and consequences of occupational stress. It outlines employers' duties to prevent stress becoming a problem in the workplace, explains how the law can be used to protect workers and looks at recent compensation cases. Most importantly it gives guidance on avoiding and tackling stress at work, including advice issued by the Health and Safety Executive and by trade unions. It also provides examples of best practice from workplaces.

Notes to editors

Tackling workplace stress - a guide for safety reps is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?3.15 or ?10 for employers/commercial organisations. LRD booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?26.95 (?68.95 for employers/ commercial organisations). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets each year.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded over 80 years ago. Around 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing more than 99% of total TUC membership, are affiliated.
To place a booklet order phone 020 7928 3649

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