British Safety Council releases film on work stress

BSCThe film deals with stress and how to avoid it. (Image source: British Safety Council)A new film launched by the British Safety Council shows how stress can lead to injury and fatalities at work

Matthew Holder, head of campaigns and engagement at the British Safety Council, said, “The Last Word is made to warn people that being tired, distracted and unable to fully concentrate can make simple tasks like climbing a ladder more dangerous. Aimed at employees, it contains a warning that being stressed can endanger their lives. However, the film is also directed at employers, showing how important it is that managers and supervisors identify the symptoms of stress and help their staff to deal with it. As the film says, life can be stressful but people need to be aware of the danger signs.

“It is well documented that stress is a significant cause of sickness absence, undermining both productivity and profitability. What is less discussed is how stress can endanger lives. Evidence shows that stress significantly contributes to injuries in sectors such as construction, transport and agriculture. In the medical profession, stress is a major predictor of work-related accidents and there are strong links between fatigue and sharps injuries.”

The film is part of the British Safety Council campaign ‘Speak Up, Stay Safe’  targeted at younger employees to raise their awareness of risks at work. It’s the first time the campaign has tackled stress.

There is a lot of statistical evidence demonstrating the consequences of stress at work:

– In 2014/15, 440,000 people in the UK reported work-related stress at a level they believed was making them ill. That's 40 per cent of all work-related illness. 

– Stress is believed to be a major cause of accidents in the workplace, with evidence showing that 60-80 per cent of accidents are related to workplace stress.

– A survey of 2,500 doctors found that job stress was a major predictor of work-related accidents. Fatigue, in particular, is associated with a threefold increased risk of sharps injuries in medical trainees compared with other healthcare workers.

Stress is often discussed in relation to sickness absence. However, it’s less reported how it can endanger lives. Some research shows that up to 80 per cent of accidents are related to stress at work. Whether it is work-related stress or stress that people bring to work, stress can put at risk the safety of both employees and members of the public.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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