Violence enters top five workplace complaints

Overwork and stress are the op workplace complaints, but violence is now
reported by a third of workers

A TUC survey of 5,000 workplace safety representatives found that complaints
of overwork and stress were cited as a major concern by 55 per cent of

They were closely followed by repetitive strain injury (37 per cent), display
screen equipment (34 per cent), back strains (31 per cent) and violence and
threats (30 per cent).

The top four hazards have headed the TUC’s biennial poll since 1996, but
this is the first time that violence has been ranked in the top five.

TUC general secretary John Monks said: "Stress is still the biggest
health and safety problem facing workers; and RSI and back strain are major
problems too. The increase in worries about violence – which reflects actual
increases in the number of assaults on workers – is especially troubling."

The union body has also revealed that work overload is the main cause of
stress at work across Britain.

The survey found that 80 per cent of its safety representatives who reported
that stress was a problem at their workplace said workload was a major cause,
with half of the reps also citing change and staff cuts as factors.

The worst industry for stress was central government (72.5 per cent of
safety reps in government were worried about the effects stress was having on
their colleagues).

Banking, finance and insurance (72 per cent) was next, followed by education
(71.5 per cent), the health service (61.2 per cent), construction (15.3 per
cent) and manufacturing (30.8 per cent), where safety reps were the least
likely to notice stress as a workplace hazard.

Regionally, the South East was the most stressed part of the country,
followed by the South West, London, Wales and Scotland.

East Anglia was the least stressed out region, but even so, nearly half
(49.2 per cent) of safety reps said stress was one of their main concerns.

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