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Labour tasks govt on reduction of workplace stress

Labour , under the aegis of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Rivers state chapter, has called on employers od labour and the  government at all levels, to  take urgent and positive steps to reduce workplace stress to the barest minimum.
It  warned  that high stress levels could  contribute to developing health-related impairments and unhealthy coping behaviours and listed  some of these health related impairments to  include: Cardiovascular disease (CVD); Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs); Burnout; Depression and anxiety; and even Suicide, while the unhealthy coping behavior include: Alcohol and drug abuse; Increased cigarette smoking; Unhealthy diet; Insufficient physical activity;  and Sleep disorders.
Rivers TUC which gave the warning on the occasion on occasion the 2016 World Day for Safety and Health at Work marked globally  on Thursday, urged  the government to review the laws and strengthen the legislations around occupational health and safety in Nigeria as the existing laws are outdated and grossly inadequate.
A statement signed by  Comrades Hyginus Chika Onuegu and Jonas Ogundu Okere, state chairman and Secretary, respectively, said : “Unfortunately the Occupational Safety and Health Bill 2012 which was passed by the Senate in September 2012 was not assented to by the then President .
“We  call on the current national assembly to reintroduce the bill and commence discussion with a view to passing it into law before the end of 2016.
Since 2003, the ILO observes the World Day on Safety and Health at Work on April 28 capitalizing on its traditional strengths of tripartism and social dialogue,  to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries
The theme for this year which is, “Workplace Stress: a collective challenge” is aimed at drawing attention and raising awareness to current global trends on work-related stress and its impact. This is more so as  many workers  today are facing greater pressure to meet the demands of modern working life. Psychosocial risks such as increased competition, higher expectations on performance and longer working hours are contributing to the workplace becoming an ever more stressful environment.
With the pace of work dictated by instant communications and high levels of global competition, the lines separating work from life are becoming more and more difficult to identify. In addition, due to the significant changes  in labour relations and the current economic recession, workers are experiencing organizational changes and restructuring, reduced work opportunities, increasing precarious work , the fear of losing their jobs, massive layoffs and unemployment and decreased financial stability, with serious consequences to their mental health and well-being.

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