Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
November 23, 2011

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Conference to tackle rocketing work-related stress level

A major conference on stress will hear this weekend how work-life balance is now at the bottom of the agenda and work-related suicide is increasing as a result of the parlous state of the economy.

Ian Draper, coordinator of UK National Work-Stress Network, will tell delegates at its annual conference, which takes place in Rednal, near Birmingham, on 26 and 27 November, that work is getting more and more stressful – evidenced by myriad surveys, an increase in work-related suicides, and a surge in regular visitors to the Network’s website, seeking help.

The conference will look at the damage being done, as well as ways to address stress and campaign against its causes. Conference chair Nick Green, of the Hazards Campaign, will say: “We see ourselves a s central to the struggle against the austerity measures being thrust upon us by government, who failed to stop the gamblers of the finance industry from robbing us all. We should not be paying for others’ criminality or negligence.”

Professor Tarani Chandola, of the University of Manchester, will say: “The recent CIPD surveys of work-related stress show public-sector workers in the last two years have been subject to increased levels of work stressors, including anticipated job insecurity, increased work pressure every day, and greater conflict between work colleagues.

“There is also a general feeling among workers that work-life balance is low on the agenda as far as their managers are concerned.”

Rachael Maskell, senior officer in Unite the union’s health sector, will agree, saying: “Well-being at work is largely now ignored, with huge work-life balance issues, increased bullying, harassment and victimisation and, in some sectors, growing violence and abuse towards workers.

“There are continuous attacks on employment rights and insidious, pernicious assaults on the entire health and safety agenda. Overall, workers are being exposed to greater and greater risks.”

Long-term sickness absence and return-to-work issues will also be discussed, with Ian Draper asserting that: “Forcing those made ill by poor or aggressive management and unsafe systems of work to stay put is exactly the opposite of what should be happening to them. They should be allowed as much time as necessary away from work to recover, and the reasons for their illness addressed at the workplace. Their return to work should be managed in a positive and supportive way – but all too often, it isn’t.”

‘From recession to depression’ – the annual conference of the UK National Work-Stress Network takes place at the Hillscourt Conference Centre, Rednal on 26 and 27 November. For more information on the Network, visit

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments