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Stress at Work The Focus for European Health & Safety Week

October 21, 2014
Public Health

stressLaunched yesterday (20th October) The European Week for Safety and Health at Work  aims to raise the profile of stress in the workplace and promote the use of practical solutions.

The event, co-ordinated by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), has previously focused on accident prevention and risk assessment. Stress is the second most common work-related health problem in Europe behind musculoskeletal disorders, with 50-60% of working days lost attributed the condition. A recent European poll revealed that 4 in 10 workers considered that stress was not handled well in their workplace, while 28% reported exposure to psychosocial risks affected their mental well-being.

Jo Eccles from the Forum For Private Business is fully behind the campaign, which looks beyond physical hazards in the workplace. “A large amount of health and safety guidance tends to focus on the physical risks that small business employers need to consider in protecting their employees, but mental well-being and workplace stress remain the poor relation,” he said. “Excessive stress can interfere with employee’s productivity and is linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as more errors.”

The latest data from the Health and Safety Executive shows that in 2011/12 10.4 million working days were lost due to stress-related conditions, with on average each person taking 24 days off work.

You can view the European Week for Safety and Health at Work website here