Stress is the main concern in both public and private workplaces, a survey conducted by TUC has found.

The research, which was released in conjunction with World Mental Health day on 10th October, shows that 68% of safety reps said stress, and the effect it is having on their colleagues, is one of the major health concerns at work.

Stress is particularly high in the public sectors, with 87% of participants citing it as the biggest concern in central government,  84% in education and 78% in health services.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, said:

“We may sometimes joke about health and safety culture, but it’s no joke when you become the person lying awake at night from stress, made ill through long hours, a lack of control over your work or bullying in the office.

“Employers and managers need to do more to identify and reduce risks and to provide support to employees struggling to cope.”

Another report, published at the beginning of October by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions, found that stress in the workplace is a massive issue across the whole of the continent.

The report shows the main issues that contribute to stress are monotonous tasks, high work intensity and responsibility, tight deadline, work-life imbalance, violence and harassment from the public or colleagues.

Juan Menéndez-Valdés, director of Eurofound, said:

“Reducing psychosocial risks and protecting workers from these risks is critical for allowing longer working lives and preventing early labor market exits.

“We hope that our joint report will provide practitioners and policy-makers with both the insight and incentive to overcome these challenges of psychosocial risks in the workplace. Research shows that the role of social dialogue and social partners is relevant to raise awareness and implement interventions.”

Both reports show that a heavier impetus should be placed on employee’s psychological well-being, alongside general health and safety measures within the workplace.

Photo by Brittney Bush