Accident warnings over soaring UK workplace stress

Stress levels are soaring in the UK because of the recession, increasing the risk of accidents at work - with Londoners facing the biggest problem, according to a new report.

Insurance giant RSA has published a "stress map", showing which parts of the country are suffering the most stress amid warnings that millions of working days are being lost.

Nine out of 10 workers in the capital reported an increase in stress, although four out of five people in the Midlands, Wales and the south west also complained that pressure was getting worse.

Workers in the north of England were said to be the least stressed, the research among 2,000 adults showed.

One in five of those questioned warned they were more likely to face a workplace accident because of rising stress levels.

Phil Bell, group casualty director at RSA, said: "Workplace injuries cost British businesses hugely and many workers fear that stress will make them more likely to have an accident.

"Many people are working longer hours and are over-stressed. This impacts on staff productivity, (staff) retention and on people's personal lives.

"Employers have to take stress, long hours and the likely increase in workplace injuries seriously.

"All employers have a duty of care to their staff. Good employers recognise this and are taking steps to address this."

Workers in the services sector and manufacturing were said to be under the greatest pressure, while those in construction were the least affected.

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