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.
'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.