Stress Network; Annual Conference 2013
Sick Workplaces – Sick Workers
Are health and safety cuts the right medicine?
Saturday November 23rd to Sunday November 24th 2013
Hillscourt Conference Centre, Rednal, Birmingham B45 8RS
“Sick workers face greater scrutiny, but sick workplaces face no scrutiny at all”
Too many British workplaces are sick. The symptoms include a culture of bullying, excessive demands and unrealistic expectations, punitive performance management systems, stressed out and frustrated employees, high rates of absenteeism and worrying levels of ‘presenteeism’. This year up to 20,000 workers will die prematurely of heart attacks, cancers or suicide caused by excessive work-related stress. Many more workers will suffer the misery of stress-related mental or physical illness. It is time for this assault on the innocent to stop.
A full programme of speakers, workshops and an excellent opportunity for networking will be available as usual for this next conference. We are pleased to launch the initial details here and now – please access the booking forms and book your places early to avoid disappointment. The forms are available in .pdf or .doc format.
Professor Phil Taylor, Strathclyde University, Glasgow speaking on "Performance Management the new workplace tyranny"
Ray Spry-Shute - who has experience in the Employment Tribunal both on the panel and in representing claimants;
John McLean Senior Health & Safety Officer at GMB, reviewing current TUC and Trade Union responses to the present economic and political climates;
Workshops will provide a good opportunity to learn about the impact of adverse treatment of workers and the effects of the dismantling of essential health and safety legislation.
If you are sick of work, it could be the work that is making you sick!
UK Hazards Campaign is looking for your support!
Annual Hazards Conference 2013, at Keele University July 19th to 21st 2013
Sponsorship of the weekend event has been requested and the sponsorship form can be found at http://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/hazardsconference/2013sponsorshipappeal.pdf. Please ask your TU Branch to make a contribution!
Booking a place at this exciting weekend event is simple – just click on this link, fill in the booking form and send off your application via your TU Branch. We look forward to seeing you there!
Work stress led to school head's suicide
A stressed headteacher found hanged at her school in Worcestershire killed herself, a coroner has ruled. The body of Helen Mann, 43, was discovered in a stairwell at Sytchampton First School near Stourport-on-Severn on 5 November 2012. She had been head at the school for less than six months. The inquest in Stourport heard Ms Mann took an overdose following a fitness to work interview days before her death. Helen Mann had been off for four weeks with work-related stress, the inquest was told. Deputy coroner Marguerite Elcock at Worcestershire Coroner's Court said: 'Mrs Mann was a dedicated and professional teacher. A lady who had extremely high expectations of herself, who felt pressure in her new role, who feared failure. When this pressure proved too much she took her own life on November 5 2012.' The inquest heard that Mrs Mann was concerned that if an Ofsted inspection was imminent, the school would lose its 'oustanding' rating. The local education authority had undertaken its own assessment and had indicated in May last year that the school was unlikely to maintain its top Ofsted rating. A series of teacher suicides have been linked to the pressure of Ofsted inspections.
Telling The Stories Of Our Lives
International Workers Memorial Day Sunday 28th April 2013
Remember the Dead: Fight for the Living; Tell the government STOP IT: YOU'RE KILLING US! This is our day to tell our stories: to explain that poor or non-existent health and safety means workers are injured, killed and made ill, but this isn't due to freak, unavoidable accidents or rare diseases but because employers didn't care enough to obey the law and governments didn't make them. We utterly reject this government's destruction of health and safety regulation and enforcement based on the lie that it is a 'burden on business', when the facts show the real burden of lack of health and safety is borne by us - the individuals hurt and their families, and on the public purse, not on business!
For more information you can use the folowing links
This link is for the Background to Workers Memorial Day
This for a Safety Reps Guide to Workers Memorial Day
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Certificate in Internal Workplace Mediation
Delegates attending the ACAS Certificate in Internal Workplace Mediation course learn powerful and effective skills for reducing workplace conflict, dispute and relationship breakdowns.
Formal procedures may not be appropriate for resolving these issues and if matters end up going to an employment tribunal, this can be time consuming, expensive and stressful for everyone involved.
Resolving issues before they get to the point of breakdown is extremely important and the Certificate in Internal Workplace Mediation course can teach you or your managers simple and effective techniques which really work.
Fpr more information please visit the Certificate in Internal Workplace Mediation or call the ACAS Customer Services Team on 08457 383736
Staff at Waltham Forest Council took half the number of stress-related days off than they did in 2009
Reporter Council staff in Waltham Forest are less stressed than their city-wide counter parts, an investigation has found. A Freedom of Information request by LondonlovesBusiness.com showed that over a three-year period staff at Waltham Forest Council have taken half the number of sick days due to stress, than they did in 2009. The council seems to have bucked the trend which has appeared across the rest of the city as most London councils are seeing a rise in staff shortage due to stress. Enfield, Westminster, Kingston and Barking and Dagenham councils were flagged up as experiencing staff shortages due to stress-related illnesses. In 2009 staff at Waltham Forest Council took 4,098 days off due to stress, a number which fell in 2012 to 2,489.
13th EWHN Conference - BOLOGNA 4-6/10/2013
The 13th EWHN Conference will take place in Bologna, Italy, 4-6 October 2013. More than 200 delegates coming from all European Countries, together with observers from USA, South America, Africa and Asia, will meet in Bologna next October, to share experience, knowledge and projects to make workplaces healthier and safer.
Official announcement, with final programme, venue information and registration forms on the EWHN website.
Work is the top cause of stress
Taken from TUC Risks 598, 23 March 2013
Work is the most stressful factor in people's lives, research commissioned by Mind has found. The mental health charity found one in three people (34 per cent) said their work life was either very or quite stressful, topping both debt or financial problems (30 per cent) and health (17 per cent). The survey of over 2,000 people found that workplace stress has resulted in 7 per cent (rising to 10 per cent amongst 18 to 24 year olds) having suicidal thoughts and nearly one in five people (18 per cent) developing anxiety. Mind said the survey suggested stress caused people to resort to alcohol and drugs to cope. Nearly three in five people (57 per cent) say they drink after work and one in seven (14 per cent) drink during the working day to cope with workplace stress and pressure. Other coping mechanisms cited were smoking (28 per cent), taking antidepressants (15 per cent), over the counter sleeping aids (16 per cent) and prescribed sleeping tablets (10 per cent). Chief executive of Mind, Paul Farmer, said: 'Improving mental wellbeing in the workplace doesn't have to cost a lot. Our research shows that people whose organisations offered flexible working hours and generous annual leave said such measures supported their mental wellbeing.' Three in five people said that if their employer took action to support the mental wellbeing of all staff, they would feel more loyal, motivated, committed and be likely to recommend their workplace as a good place to work.
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Academics stressed by out of control workloads
Taken from TUC Risks 597, 16 March 2013
A survey of more than 14,000 higher education staff in the UK has found academics and academic-related staff are increasingly stressed by a loss of control over the way they work. The research, carried out by the union UCU, found that stress caused by a perceived lack of control at work has increased among higher education staff over the four years from 2008 to 2012. The report also names and shames a group of 20 universities where staff are most likely to report they lacked autonomy in their day-to-day working lives. Using a standard Health and Safety Executive questionnaire, the survey found staff have become more stressed about a perceived lack of control over how they plan and time their workload over the past four years. UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, linked the change to a 'managerial culture' involving a 'damaging level of micro-management.' She said: 'The overall trend for academics to feel they have less control of their work over the past four years is worrying but may be partly attributable to pressures resulting from the Research Excellence Framework. The problem is very much focused in particular universities that are using management techniques designed for businesses that have nothing in common with education.'
January Newsletter 2013
We have just published our January 2013 newsletter which you can now access and download in both .pdf and .doc format on our newsletter page.
UKNWSN Annual Conference 2012
The complete set of documents and photos from our 2012 Annual Conference have now been posted and you can access them here.
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Safety Representatives Survey 2012
The TUC has just published the results of its tenth biennial TUC safety representatives' survey, which is designed to provide the TUC and its affiliated trade unions with valuable information to help shape safety campaigning and organisation in the period ahead: http://www.tuc.org.uk/workplace/tuc-21633-f0.cfm
Come Tweet with us
The Stress Network now has a Twitter page @workstressuk where you can keep up to date and join in conversations
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