Stress, injury and illness are major safety concerns in UK workplaces

Stress, injuries and illnesses caused by working on computers are the biggest safety concerns for employees, according to a survey of safety representatives.

Conducted by the TUC, the study found three in five reported stress or overwork as a concern in their workplace, with the highest cases found in central government (81%), education (74%) and health services (69%).

Ten of the 14 sectors surveyed cited stress as the biggest concern, but others included noise and back injuries as other top hazards at work.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber called on unions and employers to work together to prevent harm to employees.

“Stress casts a gloomy shadow over far too many UK workplaces. And as the current economic crisis creates more anxiety about job security, stress is likely to increase,” said Barber.

“Unions and employers must work together to combat this as it can have a huge personal cost to workers and a damaging cost to businesses.

Injuries and illnesses resulting from the poor use of display screen equipment rose from fourth in 2006 to become the second-most common concern, reported by 41% of safety reps, just ahead of repetitive strain injuries (40%).

More than 2,500 safety reps were surveyed between May and June this year.

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