THE WELL-BEING and health of employees could be suffering because of the recession, a new study has found.
The findings from the TUC (Trade Union Congress) show the harsh economic climate is having a significant impact on staff across the country.
The top concerns cited by union safety reps include stress, bullying and harassment, problems relating to heavy workloads and overwork, and violence and intimidation.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Fears about how austerity is affecting people’s jobs and their families is having a real impact on the health and well-being of UK workers.
“As jobs are cut, so the workload of those left behind increases. As the workload rises so do the stress levels of over-worked employees, which lead to a greater risk of bullying and harassment as stressed-out supervisors take out their frustrations on staff.”
The TUC say many of these concerns are down to the UK workforce’s increasing fear of job insecurity and unease as a result of the stagnant economy.
Safety reps in the survey also raise concerns about a decline in the number of safety inspections.
The TUC said they feared the situation will only get worse as cuts to the budgets of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities mean that in future there will be fewer HSE and council safety inspectors to check up on employers.
Just under half (45 per cent) of the 1,875 safety reps who responded to the TUC survey earlier this year say that their workplace had never had a visit from a safety inspector.
One in ten of the safety reps (10 per cent) hadn't seen a safety inspector in their workplace for more than three years, and another 16 per cent say their workplace hadn't been inspected for between one and three years.
Just 28 per cent of union safety reps reported a visit from a safety inspector in the past year and even in sectors like construction, well-known for its poor safety records, less than half (41 per cent) say their building sites had received a safety inspection in the last 12 months.