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The EU wants you to be less stressed at work

More than half of workers find their workplace stressful, a survey revealed.

The EU doesn't want you to be like this woman.
The EU doesn't want you to be like this woman.
Image: woman hates her laptop via Shutterstock

THE EUROPEAN UNION is looking to tackle the “startling” problem of work-related stress across Member States.

It has launched a new campaign to help businesses to reduce stress and to instruct them on how to treat it as an occupational health and safety issue.

A recent survey from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) revealed that 51 per cent of workers believe stress is common in the work place.

However, data from Ireland reveals that we have some of the least stressful workplaces in Europe.

Tied with Germany and the Netherlands, 16 per cent of Irish workers reported working in this kind of environment.

Pre-2008 figures used in the survey state that 1.7 of all claims for Illness Benefit related to occupational stress, but and that 6.5 illnesses cases in every 1,000 workers were due to “stress, depression, and anxiety”.

Greece (55 per cent) and Sweden (38 per cent) topped the poll, while the United Kingdom had the lowest level at 12 per cent.

EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said that workplaces ”cannot afford to ignore work-related stress, which increases absenteeism and lowers productivity”.

“The forthcoming EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at work 2014-20 will underline that better protection of workers’ mental health is a key factor to prevent work-related diseases.”

Part of this is the Healthy Workplaces Campaign, which will run for two years across 30 European countries.

The campaign is aimed that highlighting how stress should be treated as an occupational safety and health issue, and aims to be of use to small businesses to help them “improve organisational performance”.

Read: HSE and GAA join forces to offer ‘practical ways’ to deal with stress >

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Nicky Ryan

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