Work-related illness up

Absences due to work-related illness are getting longer, according to recent

The Self-Reported Work-related Illness Survey by the Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) shows that work-related illness is significantly increasing the
number of working days lost, and contributing to a rise in long-term absence.

The research shows that stress accounted for 13.4 million days of absence in
2001-2002, while musculoskeletal disorders caused 12.3 million working days to
be lost.

Stress has played a significant role in the general surge of the number of
days lost to sickness absence. The figure has soared from 23.4 million in 1995
to 32.9 million in 2001-2002 – a rise of 40 per cent.

Although stress accounts for the most days lost through absence, it is the
second most prevalent cause of work-related absence after musculoskeletal

Musculoskeletal problems are the most reported illnesses, followed by
stress, depression and anxiety.

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