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BFAWU Conference 2024 A new generation of health and safety is reps needed to tackle ‘stress pandemic’, Bakers’ union hears

A NEW generation of health and safety reps is needed to tackle a worsening “stress pandemic” in workplaces, the TUC’s Shelly Asquith said today.

The union body’s health, safety and wellbeing officer warned that tens of thousands of reps are set to retire over the next decade and their “wealth of experience” must not disappear with them. 

The rallying cry came as Ms Asquith addressed the Bakers’ union’s annual conference in Staffordshire.

She told delegates in Stone: “We currently have twice as many health and safety reps over the age of 60 than under the age of 35.

“They’ve got this wealth of experience and fantastic skills, and we need that to be passed down.”

Ms Asquith warned official figures show spiralling levels of occupational stress, but bad bosses are “simply not doing anything” about it as the issue is easier to ignore than physical injuries. 

The TUC is set to launch its “assess for stress” campaign, which will press employers to introduce stress risk assessments, in the coming months, she said.

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