Employers to ‘stress test’ workforce

TUC has set British employers a ‘MOT’ stress test to be conducted in October’s
health and safety week.

European safety week (14-20 October), union workplace safety reps will be using
risk assessment and TUC checklists to monitor work-related stress.

TUC will also hold a national conference on stress during the week, and will
produce adverts for community radio stations.

Tudor, TUC health and safety specialist, said: "We cannot afford to keep
burdening our workers with overwork, lack of support and bullying if we want a
social and competitive Europe.

Health and Safety Week is immensely valuable because it provides safety reps
with an open door for creating partnerships with managers. This year’s theme of
stress makes that partnership even more important – we know safety reps and
health professionals cannot conquer stress alone."

TUC says 500,000 UK workers a year experience work-related stress at levels
that make them ill. It says this leads to 6.5 million working days lost each
year, at an annual cost to society of £3.8bn.

said: "There are occupational health and safety measures that can be used
to manage the risk of stress and provide rehabilitation. But fundamentally, it
is like all health and safety issues – a management problem. The one root cause
of stress at work is poor management, and good management can relieve the
causes and symptoms of workplace stress. Good management starts with a
partnership between employers and unions."

By Quentin Reade

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