HSE warns employers to take stress seriously

Public
sector employers are being warned to treat stress as seriously as physical
injuries following research showing high levels of strain among workers such as
teachers and nurses.

The
Financial Times reports that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is telling
employers in sectors identified as stress prone – such as health, teaching and
care – to carry out specific risk assessments similar to those designed to
prevent accidents.

The
HSE’s own research shows that more than four in 10 teachers and more than three
in 10 nurses report high levels of stress.

Figures
from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development show the average
public sector worker takes almost 11 days’ sick leave a year – three days more
than those in the private sector.

Last
year, research by the HSE and Personnel Today revealed that more than 1.5
million working days are lost to stress every year, costing UK employers
£1.24bn.

By Mike Berry

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