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 Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

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

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>