British workplaces rife with stress, long hours and bullies

TUC
study reveals concerns about occupational health and health & safety issues

Bullying,
stress and long hours are rife within British workplaces, with employees across
the country deeply concerned about a wide range of OH and health and safety
issues, the TUC has warned.

A
study of union workplace safety representatives, Health and Safety 2002, has
painted a damning picture of the country’s workplaces.

Stress
and overwork is worse in the south east of England than in any other region in
the country. Stress is a major health and safety problem in nearly two-thirds
(61 per cent) of the region’s workplaces – more than any other region – with
workload, change and cuts in staff the main causes.

Similarly,
workers in London face the worst health and safety conditions in the country.

The
capital’s workplaces have the highest rate of violence and threats, long hours,
use of display screen equipment and exposure to asbestos. Rates for bullying
are also 40 per cent higher than average.

London’s
employers were also rated the worst for carrying out risk assessments.

TUC
general secretary-elect Brendan Barber said: "Workers in the capital are
facing appalling stresses due to long hours and violence, yet these are all
problems that employers can control."

Outside
London, employers in Scotland were the worst for providing OH services, and
workers in one in three workplaces were worried about the risk of violent
assaults and threats.

Back
strains, along with bullying, focused the minds of workers in the north of
England, while workers in Yorkshire and Humberside were more worried about
chemicals, dusts and machinery than any others in Britain.

However,
their main concerns, like much of the rest of the country, were stress, repetitive
strain injury (RSI) and back strain.

Workers
in Wales faced high levels of stress, RSI and back strain, which had created
the most disabled workforce in the country, the TUC added, with more unemployed
people who were disabled than in any other part of Britain.

But
Welsh employers were also doing the most when it came trying to control health
and safety risks in the workplace.

www.tuc.org.uk

Key
facts


London’s workers face the worst health & safety conditions in the country,
with violence, bullying and long hours all key worries


Workers in one in three Scottish workplaces are worried about the risk of
serious violence, and their employers are the worst for providing OH services


Workers in northern England have the highest levels of concern about bullying
and the second highest about back strain


Stress, RSI, long hours and using display screen equipment are the main worry
of workers in the Midlands, along with those in the North West


Workers in Yorkshire and Humberside are more worried about chemicals, dust and
machinery than any others in Britain


Stress and overwork is worse in the South East than any other region, with the
south west not much better


Wales has the most disabled workforce in the country

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