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More than 600 working days lost as stressed council workers call in sick

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 17, 2014

South Derbyshire District Council

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A STAGGERING 666 sick days were taken at a council due to stress in the space of 12 months, it has been revealed.

The figures showed that on an average day at South Derbyshire District Council in the year to March 2014, more than one member of staff was off work for stress-related reasons such as anxiety and depression.

Council office staff were most affected by stress, with 375 days lost, compared to 291 from within its manual workforce.

Musculoskeletal complaints, such as back pain, were the next most common reason for staff taking time off, accounting for 588 lost days.

Predictably, the injuries hampered manual workers more so than their colleagues in offices - though office workers still took a total of 171 days off work with various aches and pains.

Council staff will undergo training on how to manage stress and receive health and safety advice to try and cut down the number of sick days, bosses said.

A ‘stress and wellbeing week’ was also held to try and ‘introduce new ways or dealing with stress’.

A report from the district council said: “This is the second year in a row that these two reasons were the highest cause of absence within the council.

“The high rate of musculoskeletal disorders amongst manual workers, coupled with manual handling being one of the lead causes of accidents, highlights the need to ensure all council employees have undertaken manual handling training and tasks involving significant manual handling are risk assessed. “

The council said it was its aim to ‘continually improve health and safety performance’.

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