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Saturday, 2 February, 2002, 00:22 GMT
Work-related stress soars
Stressed man
Stress is recognised as an 'industrial disease' says TUC
Work-related stress reported to unions has increased sharply in a year, according to new figures.

New cases linked to stress increased by 6,428 last year, the annual survey by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has found.

Compensation awards won by unions last year were worth 321m, slightly more than the previous year.

Stress shouldn't be part of anybody's job

Owen Tudor
TUC senior health and safety officer
The union's senior health and safety officer, Owen Tudor told the BBC that there was now a recognition that stress was just another type of industrial disease.

"Stress related illnesses have become a reality.

"These figures that the TUC has found are a wake-up call for managers everywhere," he said.

Waste of money

But he said he did not believe that the high pay-outs reflected a "compensation culture."

"Overall union compensation cases aren't increasing," he said.

Unions' compensation wins
61m compensation for workers in south east/east of England
Midlands - 54m
North west England- 41m
London - 35m
Scotland - 32m
Yorkshire/Humberside - 32m
South west 25m
Wales 19m
North - 16m

He said public sector staff were most likely to claim work-related stress but there were also claims from middle managers in manufacturing.

"Stress shouldn't be part of anybody's job, certainly not to the extent that it causes real physical or mental illnesses," he said.

He accepted compensation claims were an "enormous waste of money" for employers.

And he called on employers to "do the right thing by their workforce" by preventing stress-related illnesses by assessing risks and adapting jobs to workers rather than workers to jobs.

The survey also found that the number of new personal injury claims was slightly down, but still totalled more than 51,000.

TUC general secretary John Monks said: "Good management is the solution, and good management means working in partnership with unions."

Owen Tudor, TUC Senior Health and Safety Officer
"Too many managers do not understand"
Expert in workplace health issues, Prof Cary Cooper
"I thought there would be an increase this year"
See also:

11 Jan 02 | Business
Employers dismiss stress fears
25 Jun 01 | Business
Stress causes 6.5m sick days
19 Jun 01 | Health
'Too stressed to go to school'
19 Apr 01 | Health
Stress 'costs firms 3bn a year'
25 Jun 01 | Health
Stress: The effects
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