Why tackle stress?
Why do we need to tackle work-related stress?
Research has indicated that:
- about half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress at a level they believe is making them ill;
- up to 5 million people in the UK feel "very" or "extremely" stressed by their work;
- a total of 12.8 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2003/4;
- Work-related stress costs society between £3.7 billion and £3.8 billion every year;
- CBI 2004 survey of 500 firms, found the average private industry worker took 7.2 days off sick per year;
- Nationally private sector sick-leave costs £1.75 billion with the loss of 25 million working days in 2004.
TUC Safety Representative Annual Surveys show that stress-related illness is amongst the highest causes of anxiety, time off work and physical and psychological damage:
HSE key messages on stress are:
- Work-related stress is a serious problem;
- Tackling it effectively can result in significant benefits for organizations;
- There are practical things that organizations can do to prevent and control work-related stress;
- Stress is a management issue which a manager can help resolve;
- The HSE is working with businesses to enable them to manage work-related stress more effectively.