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ALARM PREDICTS EXPLOSION IN STRESS-RELATED CLAIMS

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A survey conducted by the Association of Local Authority Risk Managers has found that stress at work has become the...
A survey conducted by the Association of Local Authority Risk Managers has found that stress at work has become the one of the biggest causes of personal injury claims by council employees.(See LGCnet 18 April, ALARM SURVEY REVEALS 'STRESS' AS TOP RISK IN PUBLIC SECTOR)

The Birmingham Post (p3) reports that delegates at an ALARM conference in Coventry were told that stress has become the biggest flashpoint at work.

ALARM chairman David Fleetwood, who is also in charge of risk management for Sunderland City Council, said there were several reasons why stress had become such a mjor issue for councils.

He cited the increased pressure on workers from best value and ever tighter constraints on budgets and manpower. 'When employees are taking time off with stress, they cost the council money in lost working hours. But ultimately there is the concern that authorities are then open to personal injury litigation.

'However, there are steps that can be taken by local authorities - like improving pre-employment screening to try and weed out people who might be considered high-risk.

'We would also like to see improved stress counselling and health care for council employees so that, where possilbe, incidents or stress and illness can be tackled as early as possible.'

The ALARM survey found that nearly half of members who responded cited stress at work, the related issues of liability and the public's new-found propensity for litigation as their biggest concerns.

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