Manufacturers urged to take stress seriously

Manufacturing
employers are being urged to make dealing with stress at work an issue of best
practice, or risk the consequences to both the individual concerned and their
business.

This
is the warning given by to the EEF’s newly appointed chief medical adviser, Dr
Sayeed Khan.

Giving
his first keynote address at the TUC’s seminar as part of Health and Safety
Week, Tackle the hassle: strategies to stop stress and beat bullying, Dr Khan
said dealing with stress at work should be a fundamental part of any company’s
approach to best practice. He said it should be treated equally in importance
as any other hazard at work.

"Stress
simply occurs when the pressures of normal life become too much and addressing
the issue early can mean the difference between suffering a minor setback or
ending up with a chronic illness. The successful employers are those that have
risk assessment systems in place not only to prevent stress arising but also to
actively rehabilitate those with stress symptoms" said Dr Khan.

According
to the Health & Safety Executive, as many as one in five people In the UK
suffer from high levels of work-related stress. An estimated 500,000
individuals report experiencing stress at a level they believe makes them ill.
The cost to Britain’s economy is estimated at approximately 6.7 million working
days lost per year at a cost of almost $4bn.

The
EEF is making its highly successful guide Managing Stress at Work available via
its website as part of its backing for Health and Safety Week. This document
has been produced to help companies by providing details of good practice and
practical actions that employers and managers can carry out to deal with the
issues of stress in the workplace. During Health and Safety week organsations,
including the Health and Safety Executive, will provide links on their own
websites to this guidance.

www.eef.org.uk

By Ben Willmott

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