The 11th biennial TUC survey of union health and safety representatives, published on 24 October during European Health and Safety at Work Week, finds the top-five cited hazards were stress, bullying and harassment, overwork, back strains and slips, and trips and falls on a level.
In top place was stress. More than two thirds of safety reps (67%) taking part in the survey said that stress, and the effect it is having on their colleagues, is one of the main concerns they have to deal with at work.
One in six of the workplace reps who completed the survey say their employers are failing to conduct risk assessments, which is a breach of health and safety law, says the TUC.
TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: "It’s shocking that so many employers are breaking the law and putting their staff at risk of illness and accidents by their sheer negligence. Not only does this put people in danger while doing their jobs, the consequences also carry a high cost for British businesses and public services because it results in lower productivity and more staff spending time off sick.
"Stress remains the top concern for health and safety workplace reps. It’s a particular problem in parts of the public sector like the NHS and local government that have been hit by cuts and top-down reorganisations. Sickness and absence from stress is one of the false economies of public sector austerity.”
The full report Focus on health and safety: Trade union trends survey, October 2014 can be found here