The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called on UK employers to provide better occupational health assistance, after it found that 175 million working days were lost as a result of sickness absence in 2006.
The union has published a new educational workbook, Occupational Health: Dealing with the Issues, to coincide with Workers’ Memorial Day, today, which found that sickness absence in 2006 cost firms £650 per employee.
The TUC aims to have 15,000 workplace safety reps trained up using the new educational workbook, who will be able to use the guide to assess the extent of ill health in their workplaces and work with their employers to find healthier solutions.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the UK is currently facing an ‘epidemic’ of occupational ill health.
“Many people are ill and in pain as a result of lifting injuries, slips and trips, stress and noise-induced hearing loss suffered either at, or caused by, their work,” he said.