Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Worn out workers could put lives at risk

21.02.2006


Tired and worn out workers in the UK are making mistakes that cost money, comprise safety and even put lives at risk say the findings of a new survey launched on Thursday 23rd February 2006.



A catalogue of mistakes made by frazzled employees, ranging from car crashes to medical errors, is featured in the 24-7 survey report - an annual look at working life conducted by the Work Life Balance Centre, Leicestershire, Keele University, Staffordshire, and the University of Sheffield.

More than 1,600 people took part in this year’s project, which covered a wide range of work related topics from health and family life to legislation and errors.


Julie Hurst, Director of the Work Life Balance Centre, said: “While the number of people admitting to making a mistake was small (11%) the consequences were chilling, including serious medical errors leading to patient deaths. We also had a number of road traffic accidents, incidents involving trains, and workers being contaminated with dangerous chemicals. One of the reasons we carry out the survey each year is to try to find some answers to the problems of poor work life balance and these results reinforce the importance of this work.”

The survey highlights the complex role of work in people’s lives as it contains many positives about work as well as negative impacts. Among the findings were:

· More than half of those responding enjoyed the challenges of their jobs and made sure work did not dominate their whole life.

· More than 8 in 10 workers felt they could not cope with the demands made of them at least some of the time, and most of these (58.3%) felt work to be the sole source of such feelings.

· More than half of respondents (58.9%) felt that they had suffered ill health as a result of stress at work. The most common symptoms were: fatigue/extreme tiredness (71.7%), sleeplessness (63.1%), irritability with colleagues/family/friends (61.2%), lack of concentration (54.1%), headaches/migraine (52%), depression (49.1%), and anxiety/panic attacks (39.8%).

· Men were more likely to report depression (53.7% men, 46.5%, women), increased smoking/drinking (men 34.6%, women 26.0%), and suicidal thoughts (men 14.3%, women 10.4%). Women were more likely to report anxiety (women 41.0%, men 37.7%), uncontrolled crying (women 40.7%, men 11.1%), headaches /migraine (women 56.1%, men 44.6%), and persistent minor ailments (women 34.5%, men 26.0%).

· More than half (56.4%) of the respondents felt more fulfilled when busy, and work was seen as an important part of life by 48.8%.

· Most people (56.8%) felt their workloads to be out of control occasionally and more than half felt that it had increased during the previous 12 months.

· Increasing the amount of control people have over their working life can drastically reduce illness levels, (from 86.8% of those who felt out of control most of the time to 33.1% of those who hardly ever or never felt out of control).

· Around a third of people enjoyed their home and work lives equally.

· Almost half of all respondents (46.7%) identified better communication between management and staff as the key factor that would improve work life balance, while only slightly fewer (43.4%) felt that better, more effective performance from others would be beneficial.

Steve French, Lecturer in Industrial Relations, Keele University explained: “Most workers in the UK find it difficult to manage their working lives with their family / private lives, many people are working more than their contracted hours; knowledge of legal rights is uncertain (although better in unionised organisations) and too many people still feel unable to cope with the pressure they are under. On the other hand the proportion of people made ill by work is falling, people enjoy the challenges and fulfilment of work and the availability of initiatives to improve the situation has improved."

The 24-7 report contains regional breakdowns of the major survey trends and individual case studies looking at some of the experiences in more depth. Copies are available, free of charge from the survey website at www.24-7survey.co.uk, or from the Work Life Balance Centre on 01530 273056. Last year more than 2,000 organisations around the world received copies of the findings to help with their work life balance initiatives.

Julie Hurst | alfa
Further information:
http://www.worklifebalancecentre.co.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>