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1 Stress at Work Tom Mellish, TUC Health and Safety Policy Officer

2 Stress at Work The TUC’s Vision No one should leave work at the end of the day less healthy than they were when they started

3 Stress at Work Topics to be covered Stress – what it is and what a policy could look like Stress - and bullying - and alcohol/drugs

4 Stress at Work Definition of stress “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them.”

5 Stress at Work HSE research indicates that: about half a million people experience work-related stress at a level they believe was making them ill; up to 5 million people in the UK feel “very” or “extremely” stressed by their work; and work-related stress costs society between £3.7 billion and £3.8 billion every year.


7 Stress at Work TUC Survey 250,000 Safety Reps in UK Over 8,9200 in 2000, 5,350 in 2002 and 4,500 in 2004 Over 1,000 from workplaces with fewer than 50 employees

8 Stress at Work Risks200020022004 Stress66%55%58% Slips/Trips32%33% DSE36%34% MSD45%31% RSI41%37% Temp31%23% Noise26%20%

9 Stress at Work Stress Factors2002 Workloads99.4% Cuts in staff64% Change63% Long hours55% Shift work22% Bullying28% 2004 79% 49% 47% 37% 22% 27%

10 Stress at Work where there are over 1000 workers the percentage rises to 63%; overwork or stress is more of a concern in the public sector (64%), than in the private sector (48%) and this represents an increase in both sectors since 2002;

11 Stress at Work Workloads In 2004 survey, 4 out of every 5 safety reps (79%) consider that workloads are a problem. Compared to private sector (73%), problem of workloads is greater in public sector (83%) and voluntary sector (77%).

12 Stress at Work Staff cuts up from third to second place as main stress related problem. Staff cuts identified by half the safety reps (49%) in the 2004 survey, show similar results to 2002 and 2000 surveys. They are identified more often in the private sector (53%) than in the public.

13 Stress at Work For individual sectors, as in 2000, cuts in staff a particular problem: Central Government (69%); Banking, Finance and Insurance (59%). Staff cuts more concern to safety reps in: workplaces with 100 - 200 workers (51%) and over 1000 workers (55%); and in London (57%) and the South East (54%).

14 Stress at Work Safety reps in all sizes of workplace identified workloads as a major problem, but the worst are workplaces with between 100-200 workers (84%). Workload is a particular problem in South West England - 86% identified it as an issue related to stress.

15 Stress at Work For individual sectors, workloads are a particular problem identified by safety reps in: Education (88%); Central Government (85%); Health Services, Local Government and Banking, Finance and Insurance (all 83%).

16 Stress at Work Bullying Bullying still significant problem. Number of safety reps identifying it is just over one in four (27%). More often in the public sector (30%) and voluntary sector (29%) than in the private (20%).

17 Stress at Work Bullying is seen as an increasing problem since 2002 by safety reps in: Central Government (40% increasing from 37%); Local Government (37% increasing from 33%) Bullying more of a problem as size of workplace increases - 34% of safety reps from workplaces over 1000 compared with 18% in workplaces with fewer than 50 workers.Bullying particular problem in London (36%) and Wales (33%).

18 Stress at Work Sources of stress include: Job design – boring, no control, isolation, pace/flow,lack of breaks, too little/too much work Contractual – low pay, unsocial hours, long hours, excessive overtime, job insecurity Environment – noise, lighting, overcrowding, fumes, canteen, temperature Relationships – supervisors, sexism/racism, bullying, violence, communication, customers,

19 Observational:Workers may act differently when stressed Mood changes: bad moods aggression irritability irrationality overreacting negativity Indecisive- ness Behaviour change: forgetfulness mistakes accident prone speaking too loud/fast personal appearance

20 Stress at Work Organisational In an organisation stress may manifest itself as: High levels of sickness and absence High accident rates High turnover of staff Low morale Low productivity Bullying

21 Stress at Work Self-reported physical and emotional symptoms of stress Headaches Aches and pains Nausea or dizziness Lethargy Unexplained rashes Indigestion and heart burn Low self esteem Poor concentration Loss of libido Depression or anxiety Anger - irritability Panic attacks

22 Stress at Work An effective policy on stress should: recognise stress as a health and safety issue; be jointly developed and agreed with trade unions; have commitment from the top; guarantee a non-judgemental approach; and apply to everyone

23 Stress at Work The objectives of a policy should be: to prevent stress by identification and elimination; to recognise and deal with stress through education, participation and co-operation; and to rehabilitate through the provision of independent and confidential counselling

24 Stress at Work Key to a stress policy is good risk assessment. This should include: Physical environ Equipment Job content Working time Management Training Service conditions Support systems Managing change

25 Stress at Work Court of Appeal Judgement, February 2002 (Hatton, Barber, Bishop and Jones) Foreseeable Workplace Signs Signs from the Employee Prior Sickness Periods Advice line

26 Stress at Work Union Campaign for legislation HSE Standards on Managing Stress at Work /standards.htm

27 Stress at Work Provision of occupational health Access to OH services Workplace OHS Group OHS Contracted-out OH HSE’s Employment Medical Advisory Service (EMAS) National Health Service models Community Services

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