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When Work Makes You Cringe

22 October 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

A study by the TUC has found that someone experiences work-related stress every two minutes.

The findings back up the current figures where workplace stress in the UK leads to 11.3 million lost workdays and accounts for 39% all work-related illness.

The mental symptoms of stress range from sleeplessness and listlessness through to clinical depression and even suicide. The physical effects can range from appetite loss and nausea through to heart damage and stroke.

European Health and Safety Week started on Monday and runs until this coming Sunday (25 October), focusing on workplace stress this year. It is run by the European Agency for Safety and Health and is being coordinated by the HSE in the UK.


To coincide with this the TUC has published new advice on managing stress at work.

The guidance highlights three key points:

  • Stress is not a weakness or the person’s fault – it can affect anyone at anytime.

  • Do not suffer in silence but instead talk to someone like a union rep, friend, GP or a support service.

  • Stress-related illnesses caused by work are preventable. Employers have a legal responsibility to reduce or remove anything at work that could make you ill and that includes workplace stress.

“Pressures of long working hours and low job security are being felt in offices, hospitals, schools and shops across the country,” stated Frances O’Grady, General Secretary TUC. “Much more needs to be done to stop bosses treating their staff like machines. It’s in no one’s interests to have stressed-out workforces. People who experience high anxiety are less productive and are more likely to take time off.”

Picture: Workplace stress in the UK leads to 11.3 million lost workdays and accounts for 39% all work-related illness

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 22 October 2015


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