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MEP in drive to get managers to act on stress levels at work

3 January 2008

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A European MP is calling for new legislation to improve health and safety at work that could see managers taking greater measures to combat stress.

Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said employees can suffer from back pain as work lives become more stressful, and millions of working days are being lost through the condition every year.

She has now produced a draft report on health and safety in the workplace, which is set to be debated by the European Parliament.

As well as calling for new measures to help combat back pain and other work-related injuries such as repetitive strain injury, Ms Willmott’s report is also demanding a drive to cut cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace.

“We need binding new limits for cancer-causing substances, such as crystalline silica, which can cause disabling illness and fatal lung disease,” Ms Willmott said.

She added that special attention needs to be paid to migrant workers and other “vulnerable groups”.

“Studies show that for these workers the rate of occupational accidents and diseases is much higher than average,” she said.

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European Parliament

See also: Reducing stress at work: managers’ role in staff wellbeing – MiP article by Emma Donaldson-Feilder