News

This month’s OH news in brief

Stress
training for council workers

A
rural council has launched a training programme to help its staff better deal
with stress. Boston Borough Council is giving all line and junior managers
stress training and how to spot it. The initiative has been funded by a grant
from the Department of Trade and Industry.

Heavy
drinkers

More
than three-quarters of employers believe drinking alcohol contributes to
absenteeism and underperformance in the workplace. A poll of 289 HR professionals
by Croner Consulting also found those in employment were more likely to drink
heavily than those out of work.

Relunctant
to change

Women
are reluctant to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of breast cancer,
according to a survey of 6,000 women for the charity Cancer Research UK. About
30 per cent of women had heard of the link between alcohol and breast cancer
before completing the survey, but only one in five had cut down their
consumption to reduce their risk of the disease.

STD
funding

The
Government is to spend an extra £11m on tackling sexually-transmitted
infections. The money will go to genito-urinary medicine services, improving
the test for chlamydia in England, improving contraception services and on HIV
promotional work.

Asking for advice

UK managers would rather talk to anyone other than family and
friends about problems at work. Accountancy firm Grant Thornton canvassed the
views of more than 380 senior managers and found just 1 per cent turned to
friends and family to discuss business concerns, with half turning instead to
colleagues and other business professionals for advice.

Alcohol costing UK plc

Problems associated with alcohol cost UK businesses 14 million
lost working days each year, with hangovers alone costing £53m. Dele-gates at a
Scottish conference organised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of
Accidents also heard that drug use is estimated to cost a further £800m.

Pain in the neck

High levels of distress, along with physical and psycho-social
workplace factors, can contribute to the onset of neck and shoulder pain,
particularly tenderness in the muscles, researchers in Denmark have concluded.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine (2003;60:649-654)

Lack of PH research

Less than 0.4 per cent of public health research published in
the UK relates to the prevention and reduction of ill health, according to the
Health Development Agency. Professor Mike Kelly, HDA director of research, said
a strong research base from which to gather evidence of what works to reduce
ill health was "essential".

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