London has the worst workplaces in the UK

Jan 07 2003 by Brian Amble Print This Article

London's workers face the worst health and safety conditions in the country, according to a TUC survey of workplace union safety reps from all parts of the UK.

Problems with violence and threats, long hours of work, display screen equipment, and fatal asbestos fibres figured highly in the list of grievances reported by reps.

London also came out as having the worst violence and threatening behaviour and the longest working hours in Britain. More than one-third said that employees in their workplaces had suffered workplace intimidation.

In November 2002, another TUC survey found that 30 per cent of workers said fear of violence at work was among their top five concerns. Employees working with the public, such as jobcentre staff and hospital workers, felt most at risk.

Another survey in 2002 revealed that more than half of all office staff in the UK have become so angry at work they have nearly punched a colleague.

Nearly sixty per cent of London safety reps said that employees found it difficult to cope with stress,. Forty three per cent complained of bad display screen equipment, while 35 per cent said that repetitive strain injuries (RSI) were a problem.

The survey also revealed that Just 38 per cent of the capital's employers have carried out a health and safety risk assessment considered by union safety representatives to be adequate, compared with the national average of 50 per cent.

"London's employers need to get their act together” TUC general secretary-elect Brendan Barber said. “Workers in the capital are facing appalling stresses due to long hours and violence, yet these are all problems that employers can control. We need healthier workplaces for a wealthier future".