Aelvoet: Address stress or count cost

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Series Details Vol.7, No.40, 1.11.01, p4
Publication Date 31/10/2001
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Date: 31/10/01

THE cost of stress to industry in the EU's 15 member states is estimated at about €20 billion each year, a conference organised by the Belgian EU presidency and European Commission was told.

Belgian health minister Magda Aelvoet said that stress should be given top priority. The conference revealed the impact of the problem:

  • More than half of Europe's 160 million employees work at high speed and to tight deadlines;
  • More than one-third report having monotous tasks, 15 complain of headache, 23 of fatigue and 28 of stress. Aelvoet said: "We must acknowledge the growing impact of these problems in society. Stress not only influences workers' health, it also indirectly influences the economy. It is clear that ensuring health services and health care remains the responsibility of the member states. However, preventative measures, health education and health promotion campaigns are within the scope of Community actions."

Report of a Belgian Presidency / European Commission Conference on stress, Brussels, 25-27.10.01

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