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Death wish Suicide linked to workplace factors is one of the biggest single causes of work-related fatalities. Hazards challenges the Health and Safety Executive’s flat refusal to investigate, record or prevent workplace suicides or to take action against the bad bosses pushing us to the brink. Hazards 147, July-September 2019

Don't despair Work-related suicides are the forgotten workplace killer. But after one ‘toxic’ organisation disbands its top management team and the French courts put three top bosses linked to a suicide epidemic in the dock, Hazards editor Rory O’Neill explores the growing pressure for prevention. Hazards 146, April-June 2019

Work and suicide There can be few more challenging issues confronting a union rep than the suicide of a work colleague. But suicide affects people at work, which makes it a union issue. Hazards editor Rory O'Neill says this is why the TUC has produced a guide to help reps deal better with suicide risks, prevention and the aftermath of a tragedy at work. Hazards 141, March 2018

Make or break Workers should not be disposable. And work should not be a spirit-sapping, body-breaking grind. Hazards editor Rory O’Neill warns bad jobs are driving us over the edge and says it is time to turn and fight for basic decency, security and rights at work. Hazards 138, June 2017

Suicidal work Your job can drive you to kill yourself, but don’t expect your suicide to be counted in official work fatality statistics or for the boss to end up in court. Leeds University researcher Sarah Waters highlights how the UK is turning a ‘blind eye’ to a major workplace killer.
Hazards 137, March 2017

Crying shame Most of us have seen someone reduced to tears by work stresses. But crying can be just the start of it. Some workers get so distressed they opt for suicide. Hazards 101, February 2008

Drop dead It's the thoroughly modern way to die at work. Top occupational diseases of the 21st century will be heart attacks, suicide and strokes. Hazards argues that none of us should be worked into the ground.
Special online briefing, Hazards, 5 August 2003

Worked to death The cases aren't rare. They are just not statistics. Doctor
Sid Watkins died when his body could no longer stand the "crazy" hours.
Stressed out teacher Pamela Relf killed herself. So did mental health nurse
Richard Pocock. All died because their jobs were just too much to bear.
Hazards 83, July-September 2003 [pdf]


Britain: Action call as anxiety and suicidal thoughts hit seafarers
Seafarers are exhibiting dangerous levels of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts linked to the job, union-backed research has found. The new study by Yale University has prompted a call for action to the shipping industry.
Nautilus news release. ITF Seafarers’ Trust and The Seafarer Mental Health Study. More on work-related suicide. Risks 926. 7 December 2019

Britain: Shifts and job stress linked to nurse’s suicide
A dedicated NHS nurse who had ‘nightmares about work’ killed herself after the stress of working 12-hour shifts left her unable to lead a normal life, an inquest has heard. Leona Goddard, 35, struggled to have a social life after being burdened with unpredictable work hours and extra responsibilities at Prestwich Hospital in Manchester.
Manchester Evening News. The Mirror. Daily Mail. Plymouth Herald.
More on work-related suicides. Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists . ‘Don’t despair’ pin-up-at-work suicide prevent poster.d
ACTION! Use the Hazards e-postcard to tell the HSE to inspect for work-related suicide risks and to investigate and require the reporting of suicides suspected to be work-related. www.hazards.org/hsesuicide Risks 925. 30 November 2019

Australia: Bosses could face work suicide ‘manslaughter’ charges  
Negligent bosses in the Australian state of Victoria could face up to 20 years in jail and multi-million dollar fines over the suicide deaths of ‘brutalised’ workers under a proposed workplace manslaughter law. The Victorian state government says the proposed laws will cover deaths caused by mental injuries, including trauma from bullying or other forms of abuse sustained on the job, as well as accidents and illnesses caused by unsafe workplaces.  
Victorian government news releaseThe AgeYahoo 7 NewsThe AustralianRisks 922. 9 November 2019 

Britain: Push to get HSE to act on work-related suicide
A new campaign is calling on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to abandon its refusal to address Britain’s work-related suicide crisis. ‘Death wish’, a new report in the union-backed Hazards magazine, urges people concerned about the deteriorating working conditions fuelling work-related desperation and mental health problems to send an online postcard to the new HSE chief executive, Sarah Albon.
Death wish: Workers on the edge, Hazards, number 147, 2019.
ACTION! Use the Hazards e-postcard to tell the HSE to inspect for work-related suicide risks and to investigate and require the reporting of suicides suspected to be work-related. www.hazards.org/hsesuicide. Risks 917. 5 October 2019.

Britain: Unite action call on suicide linked site
The new Hinkley Point nuclear power station, Britain’s biggest construction project, is grappling with a mental illness crisis with several attempted suicides since work began in 2016, a union has revealed. More than 4,000 workers are on the Hinkley Point C site, where Unite officials say there has been a surge in suicide attempts this year.
Unite news release. The Guardian. Morning Star.
Recent research on suicide ‘ideation’: A Milner, K Witt, AD LaMontagne and others. Psychosocial job stressors and suicidality: a meta-analysis and systematic review, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, volume 75, pages 245-253, 2018.
Marianna Virtanen. Psychosocial job stressors and suicidality: can stress at work lead to suicide?, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, volume 75, pages 243-244, 2018.  
More on work-related suicidesWork and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists. We won’t die waiting: Union action call on work-related suicides, Hazards, number 146, July 2019. ‘Don’t despair’ pin-up-at-work suicide prevent poster. Risks 911. 24 August 2019

USA: Injured workers at greater risk from suicide or overdose deaths
Workers injured in the workplace are ‘significantly’ more likely to die from suicide or opioid overdose, a study has found. The research findings published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine note: “Improved workplace conditions, improved pain treatment, better treatment of substance use disorders, and treatment of post-injury depression may substantially reduce mortality consequent to workplace injuries.”
NIOSH Science Blog, 8 August 2019. Katie M. Applebaum and others. Suicide and drug‐related mortality following occupational injury, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, published ahead of print, 12 July 2019. Risks 910. 17 August 2019

Britain: Work-related suicide should have legal recognition
Work-related suicide should be “recognised in legislation”, with the employer required to prove a suicide was not related to their job rather than putting the burden of proof on the victim’s representatives, the union CWU has said. The union call came a written response to a UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) consultation on Suicide Prevention Quality Standards. The proposed standard, which is due to be published in September this year.
CWU briefing and CWU response to the NICE Suicide Prevention Quality Standard Consultation.
More on work-related suicidesWork and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists. We won’t die waiting: Union action call on work-related suicides, Hazards, number 146, July 2019. ‘Don’t despair’ pin-up-at-work suicide prevent poster. Risks 910. 17 August 2019

Britain: Amnesty urged to rethink redundancies after tragedies
Amnesty International is being urged to abandon ‘swingeing’ redundancy plans introduced despite a report identifying a need to address widespread stress-related ill-health and a ‘toxic’ workplace environment. The union Unite called on the movement’s global assembly held in Johannesburg, South Africa to step in and ‘mitigate’ the redundancy programme planned by the organisation.
Unite news release.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, 2018.
More on work-related suicide. Risks 909. 10 August 2019

France: Telecom execs await verdicts on work suicides scandal
A landmark trial that has seen company executives in France facing charges related to a spate of suicides at their firm has concluded at the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance. The court action was triggered by a complaint filed with the Paris public prosecutor by the union SUD PTT in December 2009, accusing France Télécom and its senior executives of “moral harassment” and “endangering others” through psychological bullying.
ETUI news report. Sarah Waters, Suicide as Corporate Murder: France Télécom on trial, Truthout, July 2019.
More on work and suicides:  Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Risks 907. 27 July 2019

Britain: We won’t die waiting for action on work suicides
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) should ditch its ‘deliberate blindspot’ on work-related suicide, a new report has said. The report in the occupational health and safety journal Hazards, which cites UK and international union calls for the issue to be treated seriously, says the  official workplace safety regulator is wrong to steer clear of one of the major emerging occupational health problems.
We won’t die waiting: Union action call on work-related suicides, Hazards, number 146, July 2019. ‘Don’t despair’ pin-up-at-work poster.
More on work and suicides:  Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, number 141, 2018. 7 April 2018. Risks 905. 13 July 2019

Britain: ‘Toxic’ organisation pays off leaders, then slashes staff
Members of Unite employed by Amnesty International have pledged to consider ‘all options’ after the human rights charity announced that 93 workers face losing their jobs. Unite regional co-ordinating officer Alan Scott said: “The organisation’s senior management has a made a dangerous habit of irresponsible overspending and over-scoping, leaving staff to suffer the costs, first with their wellbeing and now with their jobs.”
Unite news release.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, updated February 2019. Work and suicide prevention checklist. More on work-related suicide. Risks 901. 15 June 2019

Britain: Amnesty dissolves ‘toxic’ leadership team slammed by union
Amnesty International has ‘dissolved’ its senior leadership team after an internal review said it had a “toxic” workplace and a union said it was not feasible for the top tier of managers to remain. The human rights organisation's secretary-general, Kumi Naidoo, ordered the independent review after two employees killed themselves last year.
BBC News Online. The Times.
Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, updated February 2019. Work and suicide prevention checklist. More on work-related suicide. Risks 900. 8 June 2019

Britain: Amnesty dissolves ‘toxic’ leadership team slammed by union
Amnesty International has ‘dissolved’ its senior leadership team after an internal review said it had a “toxic” workplace and a union said it was not feasible for the top tier of managers to remain. The human rights organisation's secretary-general, Kumi Naidoo, ordered the independent review after two employees killed themselves last year.
BBC News Online. The Times.
Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, updated February 2019. Work and suicide prevention checklist. More on work-related suicide. Risks 900. 8 June 2019

Britain: Coroners should recognise work-related suicides - union
Coroners should treat suicides precipitated by incidents while working as work-related fatalities, the train drivers’ union ASLEF has said. ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan was speaking after an inquest heard a train driver killed himself just months after a suicidal pedestrian was killed when they walked in front of the train he was driving.
ASLEF news release. HSE RIDDOR webpages. The Guardian.
Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, updated February 2019. Work and suicide prevention checklist. More on work-related suicide. Risks 898. 25 May 2019

France: Telecom bosses on trial over staff suicides
A long-awaited trial in Paris has heard telecom giant Orange and seven former or current managers accused of moral harassment and related charges related to a spate of suicides at the company between 2007 and 2010. The defendants include the former president of France Telecom, Didier Lombard, former human resources director Olivier Barberot and former deputy executive director Louis-Pierre Wenes, who are accused of having “degraded work conditions of personnel that risked hurting their rights and dignity, altering the physical or mental health (of personnel), or compromising their professional future.”
CFE-CGC Orange, CFTC, CGT and SUD union statement and trial protest note (in French). Fortune Magazine. The Independent. BBC News Online.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, updated February 2019. Work and suicide prevention checklist. More on work-related suicide. Risks 897. 18 May 2019

France: Study confirms link between work and suicides
Almost 1-in-25 workers in France consider suicide each year, with more than a third blaming work for their desperation, research has found. The most important factor was fear of losing the job, followed by verbal threats, humiliation and intimidation at work, with managers of either sex least likely to be affected.
ETUI news report. P. Delèzire, V. Gigonzac and others, Pensées suicidaires dans la population active occupée en France en 2017, Bulletin épisdémiologique hebdomadaire, Number 3-4, 2019 [in French]. Suicides au travail, l'action syndicale from Union Syndicale SOLIDAIRES on Vimeo. Risks 895. 4 May 2019

Britain: CWU calls on the government to take work suicides seriously
The government must take workers’ suicides and mental health more seriously, CWU members have said. Delegates at the communication union’s Bournemouth conference demanded that workplace suicide be recognised in legislation and that the government review the 1983 Mental Health Act by 2020.
Morning Star. Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 895. 4 May 2019

Japan: Space agency suicide caused by overwork
A man working on a project for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) took his own life in 2016 because he was overworked, Japanese authorities have ruled. Yukinobu Sato, aged 31 at the time, was working as a contractor on a satellite project for Jaxa and was under extreme stress, a compensation review by the Ibaraki Labour Bureau’s Tsuchiura Labour Standards Inspection Office concluded.
Asahi Shimbun. Japan Times. The Mirror. BBC News Online. Risks 893. 13 April 2019

Britain PC’s work injury led to ‘dreaded’ job change and suicide
A police dog handler who could no longer do his dream job as a result of a work injury killed himself the day before he was due to return to work in another role, an inquest has heard. Wakefield Coroner's Court was told 37-year-old PC Mick Atkinson 'dreaded' the prospect of working in an office after spending more than 10 years as a dog handler with North Yorkshire Police.
Scarborough News. Yorkshire Evening Post.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 890. 23 March 2019

Britain: Amnesty leaders offer to resign over ‘toxic’ culture
Amnesty International’s seven-member senior leadership team has offered to resign after a damning report warned of a “toxic” working environment and widespread bullying. The move come on the heels of Unite, the union representing Amnesty staff, declaring it had no confidence in the organisation’s senior management and indicating it was “infeasible” they could stay.
The Guardian.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 887. 2 March 2019

Britain: Workload action call after Cardiff University suicide
The widow of a university lecturer who killed himself at work has demanded action to tackle workload pressures to save other families facing the same heartache. Diane Anderson said Cardiff University knew her husband Dr Malcolm Anderson was under significant pressure.
BBC News Online. Risks 887. 2 March 2019

Britain: Radical change call to fix Amnesty’s ‘toxic’ workplace
Unite has called for a radical change in the senior leadership at Amnesty International following a damning report into the health and wellbeing of the workforce. The report by the KonTerra Group was commissioned following the suicides last year of staff members Gaetan Mootoo and Rosalind McGregor.
Unite news release and statement. Amnesty International news release. KonTerra (Wellbeing) Report and Amnesty International response. Morning Star.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, 2018.
More on work-related suicide. Risks 885. 16 February 2019

Britain: Sick worker killed himself after voicemail from work
An inquest has heard how a stressed bank administrator who died on the tracks at Stourbridge Junction ‘crumbled’ when he received a text and voicemail from work while signed off sick. HSBC employee Matthew Lyndon was hit by a train as it was leaving the railway station on the morning of 16 January, Black Country Coroner’s Court was told.
Stourbridge News.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 883. 2 February 2019

Britain: TUC warning on the dangers of disciplinary action
Most union representatives can vouch that when a member is subjected to disciplinary action it can be a very traumatic event. The TUC says sometimes the disciplinary process can take months before a decision is made, leaving the worker ‘in limbo’ and under prolonged stress – and is advising what union reps should do in response.
TUC safety facebook page and work and suicide guide. More on work-related suicide.
New: Hazards Campaign workplace stress and mental health resources. Risks 881. 19 January 2019

Australia: Emergency workers in suicidal thoughts crisis
Police and other emergency service workers in Australia report suicidal thoughts twice as often as other adults and are three times more likely to have a suicide plan, a study has found. The research found one in three emergency service workers experience high or very high psychological distress compared to one in eight Australian adults.
UWA news release and Answering the call report executive summary and final report. Beyond Blue news release. Canberra Times. More on work-related suicide. Risks 878. 8 December 2018

Britain: Amnesty suicide linked to ‘serious’ management failings
Amnesty International failed to support a London-based researcher who killed himself at work after feeling “abandoned and neglected” by the organisation, an investigation has found.  The independent inquiry commissioned by Amnesty into the May 2018 suicide of Gaëtan Mootoo, 65, has concluded that multiple failures to support the veteran research amounted to “a serious failure of management.”
Amnesty International news release and independent report. The Guardian. The Times.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists , January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist , Hazards, 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 877. 1 December 2018

USA: Suicide increasing among US workers
The suicide rate in the US working age population increased 34 per cent over the period 2000 to 2016, with construction topping the at risk list for male workers and creative jobs for females. The new official analysis published in the US government’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) examined lifetime occupations of 22,053 people aged 16-64 years old who died by suicide in the 17 states participating in the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) in 2012 and 2015.
CDC news release and Preventing Suicide: A Technical Package of Policies, Programs, and Practices and the National Violent Death Reporting System. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 15 November 2018.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists , January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist , Hazards, number 141, 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 876. 24 November 2018

Britain: Lack of support implicated in suicide at Amnesty
A veteran worker at Amnesty International killed himself after complaining of a lack of support from management, the union Unite has said. In a statement, the union’s Amnesty branch noted “popular and highly-respected colleague” Gaëtan Mootoo, who worked out of the London office, took his own life at Amnesty International’s Paris office on 25 May 2018, leaving a note that stated he had not received the support from the organisation he had requested.
Unite news release. More on work-related suicide. Amnesty International statement, 8 June 2018. NDTV News. Risks 873. 3 November 2018

South Africa: Unions call for action after ‘protest suicide’
A South African union has expressed dismay at the inaction on stress and bullying that drove a parliamentary worker into a ‘protest suicide’. Section manager Lennox Garane shot himself dead in his office, leaving a note saying his suicide was a protest at 20 months of bullying.
IOL News. Sunday Times. Business Live. Eyewitness News. The CitizenRisks 868. 29 September 2018

Global: Toxic substances are a global health crisis
The UN Human Rights Council has been told that exposure of workers to toxic substances can and should be considered a form of exploitation and is a global health crisis. A UN expert on hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, told the Council that governments and companies must strengthen protection for workers, their families and their communities from any exposure to toxic chemicals.
Report. Risks 867. 22 September 2018

USA: Union clips Uber’s wings after taxi driver suicides
The New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance (NYTWA) has won a groundbreaking cap on new ride-hailing vehicles in the city and says other unions can learn from its victory. The new law followed six suicides by yellow cab and black car drivers forced into poverty by the over-supply of ride-hailing vehicles, as well as increased road congestion.
ITF news release.
Resources: Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists , January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist , Hazards, number 141, 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 864. 1 September 2018

Britain: Nurse killed herself after being bullied at work
A nurse killed herself after being ‘bullied’ at work, an inquest has heard. Rhian Collins, 30, was verbally abused by staff at Swansea's Cefn Coed Hospital who made her life “very difficult”, the court was told.
Wales Online. BBC News Online. The Sun. Daily Mail.
Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, number 141, 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 863. 25 August 2018

Britain: Nurse who set himself on fire was 'treated unfairly'
A nurse who burnt himself to death outside Kensington Palace after losing his job had been “treated unfairly”, an independent report has found. Amin Abdullah, 41, died in February 2016, weeks after being sacked by email from Charing Cross Hospital following a misconduct case.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and full independent report. The Independent. Personnel Today.
Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 862. 18 August 2018

Japan: Monday mornings off suggestion to address overwork crisis
Japan’s government is to urge companies to give employees some Monday mornings off work in its latest attempt to improve the country’s overwork crisis. The economy, trade and industry ministry’s ‘Shining Mondays’ plan will help address the punishingly long hours many Japanese are expected to work, although similar voluntary schemes aimed at reducing people’s workload have been largely unsuccessful.
The Guardian. The Telegraph. New Zealand Herald. More on work-related suicide. Risks 861. 11 August 2018

Korea: Workers told to ‘go home’ as stress takes its toll
While Japan famously brought the world the concept of karoshi, or death from overwork, South Koreans work longer hours, according to labour data. The South Korean police say work pressure plays a role in more than 500 suicides in the country each year, out of a national total of about 14,000.
New York Times. Risks 860. 4 August 2018

Australia: Worker bullied by boss took her own life
Veteran social worker Paula Schubert, 53, was ‘teased, bullied and humiliated’ by her manager in front of her colleagues in the lead up to her suicide, an Australian inquest has heard. Coroner Greg Cavanagh said the conduct of her boss, Patricia Butler, in the weeks before her death was “in short... shocking”.
NT coroner’s findings. ABC News. Daily Mail. The Australian. More on work-related suicides. Risks 860. 4 August 2018

India: Occupational suicides a developing problem
Poor working conditions and pay have been linked to a spate of suicides hitting a range of industries across India. Earlier this year it was revealed that desperate textiles and farm workers were taking their own lives; now diamond workers polishing gems supplied by major multinationals can be added to the suicide death roll.
Thomson Reuters Foundation. More on work-related suicide. Risks 858. 21 July 2018

France: Ex-telecom execs face trial over wave of staff suicides
The former chief executive of France Telecom and six other managers are to stand trial over a spate of suicides among their staff in the late 2000s. Prosecutors have claimed they presided over a culture of harassment at the firm that led at least 19 employees to kill themselves; the executives are accused of “moral harassment”.
CBC News. Global News. BBC News Online.
Background: Sarah Waters. Suicide voices: testimonies of trauma in the French workplace, Medical Humanities, volume 43, issue 1, pages 24-29, 2017. Sarah Waters, Suicide as protest in the French workplace, Modern & Contemporary France, volume 23, number 4, pages 491-510, 2015. Suicidal work, Hazards magazine, number 137, 2017. Risks 854. 23 June 2018

India: Ban on hazardous pesticides would slash suicides
An international group of experts has said a ban on hazardous insecticides, now under consideration by the Indian government, would help reduce suicide deaths in the country. The UK-based Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention (CPSP) has urged India’s agricultural commissioner, SK Malhotra, who heads the committee on the issue, to ban not only the 12 pesticides under review but also several others.
Times of India. First Post.
D Gunnell and others. Prevention of suicide with regulations aimed at restricting access to highly hazardous pesticides: a systematic review of the international evidence, Lancet Global Health, volume 5, number 10, e1026-e1037, October 2017. Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention. More on work-related suicides. Risks 853. 16 June 2018

Britain: University tutor killed himself after struggling with workload
A “dedicated” university tutor took his own life at work after his increasing workload meant he was “often unable to spend time with his family”, an inquest has heard. Malcolm Anderson, 48, the deputy head of section and a personal tutor in accounting at Cardiff University’s Cardiff Business School, went to his office and left two notes – one for his family and one saying his workload had finally got to him.
Cardiff University statement. Wales Online. More on work-related suicides Risks 853. 16 June 2018

Global: Action on work suicide risks would have ‘large impacts’
A new study has found work factors including poor job insecurity and job control are strongly linked to higher suicide risks and that prevention efforts could have ‘large population impacts’. The paper, published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, says a range of work factors lead people to contemplate and attempt suicide and to kill themselves.
A Milner, K Witt, AD LaMontagne and others. Psychosocial job stressors and suicidality: a meta-analysis and systematic review, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, volume 75, pages 245-253, 2018. Related commentary: Marianna Virtanen. Psychosocial job stressors and suicidality: can stress at work lead to suicide?, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, volume 75, pages 243-244, 2018.  
More on work and suicides:  Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Work and suicide prevention checklist, Hazards, number 141, 2018. Risks 843. 7 April 2018

India: Suicides and deaths blight textile mills
A trail of worker suicides and deaths is blighting textile spinning mills in south India, the global union for the sector has said.  IndustriALL reports that in the latest incident, on 6 February, child labourer Dharshini Balasubramani’s body was found in a hostel at Dollar Spinning Mills in Tamil Nadu.
IndustriALL news release. Risks 824. 24 February 2018

Global: Horrific work pressures are causing suicides
Two recent worker suicides in the US and Canada have illustrated the potentially deadly impact of growing pressures and insecurity in modern workplaces. The tragedies follow recent reports from the UK, US, France and elsewhere highlighting large numbers of work-related suicides.
CBC News. NPR report. Daily Mail. Douglas Schifter’s facebook posting.
Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 837. 17 February 2018

Britain: Work secretary McVey resigns from Samaritans board
Work and Pensions secretary Esther McVey has resigned from the advisory board of the Samaritans after accusations of hypocrisy. While serving as minister for disabled people under David Cameron, McVey was accused of introducing benefit sanctions to force people with disabilities into work, a move unions and disability rights groups said was driving desperate people to suicide.
Morning Star. Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. More on work-related suicide. Risks 836. 10 February 2018

Britain: Preventing suicide – the work connection
The TUC has produced a short guide on suicide prevention. According to TUC’s Hugh Robertson: “Unions do not expect their stewards and health and safety representatives to be trained counsellors but we often find that workers confide in their union representative when they have problems and just talking can be a great help. Also, by knowing what warning signs to look out for, sometimes you can make sure that they know where to get help.”
TUC blog. Work and suicide: A TUC guide to prevention for trade union activists, January 2018. Great Jobs Agenda. More on work-related suicide. Risks 834. 27 January 2018

China: Apple factory suicide reignites concerns
A factory worker at a firm that produces Apple’s iPhones in China has died after jumping from a building, a labour rights organisation has said. China Labor Watch (CLW) said that Li Ming, 31, jumped to his death from a building in the city of Zhengzhou, in the east-central Chinese Henan province, where he had been working for Foxconn.
The Telegraph. Good Electronics. More on work-related suicides. Risks 833. 20 January 2018

Britain: Capability review triggered teacher’s suicide
A primary school teacher and father-of-two who killed himself had suffered pressure at work, an inquest has heard. Andrew Jones died after he set himself alight in a park in Bristol on 31 August - just ahead of the new school year; the inquest heard the 54-year-old’s mental health had deteriorated quickly after he was placed under ‘capability review’ and observed in his role at Park Primary School in Bristol, in April this year.
The Mirror. The Sun on David Charlesworth’s 2011 suicide.
Suicide by Occupation 2011-2015, Office for National Statistics, March 2017. Risks 828. 2 December 2017

Britain: Ambulance staff stress warning after suspected suicide
Ambulance workers are buckling under the stresses of their work in a mismanaged health trust, its workers have warned. GMB members were speaking out after paramedic Colin Bolsom, 42, was found dead in a Bideford park in a suspected suicide. r everyone to support our call for the chief executive to stand down.”
The Mirror and related article. More on work-related suicides. Risks 828. 2 December 2017

France: Government forced to act on police suicides
The French government has been forced to act after eight police officers including a high-profile former police chief killed themselves in the same week.  “Confronted on a daily basis by human misery, violence and the worst that you can find in humans, police can no longer put up with a lack of consideration towards them, which is a factor in these tragic acts,” said the Unité-SGP police union.
The Local. More on work-related suicides. Risks 827. 25 November 2017

Korea: Samsung remodels dormitories after suicides
Samsung Display Co Ltd has remodelled the dormitories it uses to house staff in a move intended to prevent further suicides among its 23,300 workers. The world’s largest OLED maker has replaced closets, hangers, doorknobs, windows, garment bars, and other amenities in the dormitories at its Tangjeong plant in Asan, South Korea.
SHARPS Stop Samsung campaign. Risks 823. 28 October 2017

Japan: Stadium worker suicide caused by overwork
The Japan labour standard office has determined the suicide of a 23-year-old man who worked at Tokyo's new Olympic stadium construction site stemmed from overwork, and his family is eligible for government compensation. Hiroshi Kawahito, a lawyer representing the victim's family, said the victim, in charge of quality control of materials at the stadium site, recorded 190 hours of overtime in one month before killing himself in March.
Japan Times. CBC News. Bloomberg. The Guardian. Risks 822. 21 October 2017

Britain: Union alarm at high suicide rate in site workers
Construction firms must support workers’ mental health to tackle the “very, very serious issue” of suicides in the sector, Unite has said. At a conference addressing skills shortages in construction, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail warned that long hours and tough working conditions were factors behind the high suicide rate among site workers.
Morning Star. More on work-related suicides. Risks 821. 14 October 2017

Global: Suicides blighting workplaces worldwide
Reports from the US, Japan and Lebanon have highlighted the wide range of work factors leading to increasing work-related suicides worldwide, including bad jobs, overwork and violence and abuse.
University of Iowa news report. IRIN News. Japan Press.
Suicidal work: Work-related suicides go uncounted and unaccounted for in the UK, Hazards magazine, number 137, 2017. Hazards quick guide to work-related factors linked to suicide. Risks 804. 17 June 2017

Britain: Teen’s suicide exposes failings when workers kill themselves
A campaign group that represents families bereaved by a work-related death has said the suicide of a bullied teenage apprentice highlights how the system is failing workers driven to kill themselves. FACK was commenting after Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford concluded management at the Audi Reading car dealership were not responsible for the death of George Cheese, 18, who killed himself after sustained bullying at work, including an incident where colleagues locked him in a cage, doused him in flammable liquid and burned his clothes.
FACK statement.  Work-Related Deaths: a protocol for liaison. The Guardian.
More on work-related suicides. Risks 802. 3 June 2017

Britain: Tinnitus drove top drummer to suicide
The drummer with Manchester band Inspiral Carpets killed himself last year after struggling to cope with the effects of tinnitus, his widow has said. Speaking after an inquest recorded an open verdict on the death of Craig Hill, Rose Marie Gill said there needed to be a greater awareness around the damaging effects of the condition.
The Guardian. NME. The Sun. The Mirror. The Telegraph. More on work-related suicide. Risks 799. 13 May 2017

Europe: Pilot mental health stigma could push problems underground
UK pilots have warned that proposed new rules could increase stigma around mental health in the sector and could push the problem underground. The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) said rules proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as a result of the Germanwings pilot suicide tragedy in 2015 could be counter-productive.
BALPA news release. Risks 799. 13 May 2017

Germany: Airlines drop safety rule prompted by suicide crash
German airlines are dropping safety rules brought in after the 2015 Germanwings plane crash which require two people in the cockpit at all times. It is thought co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the plane on purpose, killing 150 people, after the captain left the cockpit to use the toilet.
BBC News Online. Risks 798. 6 May 2017

Britain: Teachers driven to drink and drugs by stress
Work worries are driving teachers to drink, drugs and the brink of suicide, a survey by the NASUWT has found. Over two thirds (68 per cent) told the union their job prevents them from giving adequate time to their partner, family and friends and over half (58 per cent) say their family and friends get fed up with the pressures that teaching puts on their relationship.
NASUWT news release. Morning Star. The Independent. Risks 796. 22 April 2017

Britain: Succession of work factors implicated in worker’s suicide
A worker who killed himself had been badly affected by a succession of safety issues at work, an inquest has heard, including an industrial fatality, demotion over a safety breach, a fear of losing his job and personal disputes in the workplace. Tissue factory worker Jeffrey Taylor, 55, was ruled to have taken his own life as a result of five contributing factors which were said to have been weighing heavily on his mind.
North West Evening Mail. TUC guidebook on mental health in the workplace (registration required). Suicidal work: Work-related suicides go uncounted and unaccounted for in the UK, Hazards magazine, number 137, 2017. Hazards quick guide to work-related factors linked to suicide. Risks 794. 1 April 2017

Britain: Suicide is a workplace issue
The UK is turning a blind eye to a major workplace killer, work-related suicide, the TUC has warned. The union body points to a series of reports this week highlighting how work factors can put large sections of the workforce at a greatly increased suicide risk, but there the problem is off the radar of the safety regulator.
TUC Stronger Unions blog. TUC guidebook on mental health in the workplace (registration required).
Sarah Waters. Suicidal work: Work-related suicides go uncounted and unaccounted for in the UK, Hazards magazine, number 137, 2017. Hazards quick guide to work-related factors linked to suicide.
Suicide by Occupation 2011-2015, Office for National Statistics, March 2017.
Dying from inequality, Samaritans, March 2017. Reducing the risk of suicide: A toolkit for employers, Samaritans/Business in the Community, March 2017. Crisis management in the event of a suicide: A postvention toolkit for employers, Samaritans/Business in the Community, March 2017. Risks 793. 25 March 2017

Britain: Construction must ‘radically reform’ to cut high suicide rates
The construction industry must take radical action to reduce the high number of suicides among its workforce, the union Unite has said. Its call came after a new analysis by the Office for National Statistics found that the risk of suicide among low skilled male labourers, particularly those working in construction, was three times higher than the male national average.
Unite news release. Construction News. Morning Star. The Guardian. More on work-related suicide. Risks 793. 25 March 2017

Britain: New work-related suicide figures a 'wake up call'
A new breakdown of suicide rates by occupation reveals those working in caring and teaching jobs are among those at a higher risk than the general public, unions have said. Greatly elevated rates were also observed in care workers and home carers, at nearly twice the expected rate in men and 70 per cent higher in women, and female primary teachers have a suicide risk that is 42 per cent above the average.
GMB news release. ATL news release. Risks 793. 25 March 2017

USA: ‘Diseases of distress’ linked to work 
A 2015 study revealing a sharp spike in death rates among white working class Americans, bucking a long-term downward trend, has prompted research establishing that the ‘diseases of distress’ responsible – alcohol and drug-related diseases and suicides – are linked to work factors. This associations were established by a group of work environment doctoral students at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Professor Laura Punnett explained in a posting in the public health blog The Pump Handle.
The Pump Handle. Anne Case and Angus Deaton. Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), volume 112, number 49, December 2015.
TUC drugs and alcohol webpages. More on work-related suicide, drug and alcohol use and job insecurity. Risks 790. 4 March 2017

Britain: Poor management linked to worker suicides
Two separate inquests have revealed how poor management or witnessing horrific traumas in the workplace can leave workers suicidal.
Leigh Day news release. BBC News Online. Risks 788. 18 February 2017

Global: ‘Time to act’ on healthcare worker suicides
Burnout and suicides have reached ‘crisis’ proportions in healthcare workers, an editorial in the Lancet has warned. The 7 January commentary notes: “Now is not the time to become complacent or to let the health of medical workers slip down the political agenda, but to start 2017 by following a lead taken by the National Academy of Medicine: to ensure that the health and resilience of our medical workforce are the highest priorities in every country.”
Suicide among health-care workers: time to act. Editorial. The Lancet, 7 January 2017. NAM news release. More on work-related suicide. Risks 783. 14 January 2017

France: French workers have the right to switch off
French companies are now required to guarantee their employees a “right to disconnect” from technology. The new law came into force at the start of the year, and obliges organisations with more than 50 workers to start negotiations to define the rights of employees to ignore their smartphones.
International Business Times. The Guardian. Risks 782. 7 January 2017

Japan: Ad agency boss resigns over overwork suicide
Tadashi Ishii, the president and chief executive of the advertising agency Dentsu, is to resign in the wake of an employee suicide. A president in the 1950s urged its employees to work single-mindedly to complete tasks and satisfy clients, “even if it kills you” - and the company continued to print the exhortation in training materials until after Matsuri Takahashi’s death, when it had it removed.
New York Times. BBC News Online. Asahi Shimbun. Risks 782. 7 January 2017

Japan: Ad agency suicide ruled work-related
The suicide of a female employee of a major Japanese advertising agency has been recognised as related to her work. A labour standards inspection office in Tokyo ruled that 24-year-old Matsuri Takahashi killed herself as a result of the pressures she faced working at Dentsu Inc, one of 93 suicides or attempted suicides officially recognised as overwork-related –karojisatsu – by the Japanese authorities.
Asahi Shimbun. Japan Times. More on work-related suicide. Risks 772. 15 October 2016

Australia: Families plead for action on fly-in-fly-out deaths
Pressure on West Australia’s state government to take the mental health dangers to the army of fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) miners has escalated as family members of two workers who took their own lives presented a 4,800-signature petition demanding action. The union AMWU supported Sharon Johnson and Peter Miller when they went to the West Australia (WA) parliament to hand the petition to MP Graham Jacobs, who led the parliamentary inquiry into FIFO mental health that reported more than a year ago and that was prompted by a spate of suicides.
AMWU news release. Yahoo 7 News. Risks 768. 17 September 2016.

Britain: Samaritans warning on site worker suicides
Suicide is the overlooked construction worker killer, the Samaritans has warned. The mental health group told a seminar hosted by three building engineering bodies that more attention needs to be paid to depression and stress in the industry.
BESA news release. More on work-related suicides. Risks 765. 27 August 2016.

Canada: Toronto Star suicide prompts investigation
Top Canadian newspaper the Toronto Star will conduct an “independent facilitation process review” of the newsroom’s culture, after journalists’ union Unifor called for an independent investigation in the wake of reporter Raveena Aulakh’s suicide and the events surrounding her death. The union described the newsroom as a ‘poisonous workplace’ rife with harassment and bullying.
Canoe.com. Winnipeg Free Press. More on work-related suicides. Risks 760. 23 July 2016

Japan: Bus driver’s suicide was work-related
The Nagoya High Court in Japan has overturned a lower court decision and recognised the suicide of a Nagoya City bus driver as work-related, caused by heavy workloads and “power harassment”. The court ruled Yamada Akira, who was 37 at the time of his death, suffered from a nervous breakdown due to verbal abuse from a manager and lengthy police interviews around the same time regarding a minor accident over which the manager made him turn himself into the police.
Japan Press. More on work-related suicide. Risks 749. 7 May 2016

Britain: Firefighter killed himself after colleague died
A firefighter found hanged at his station had been left traumatised by the death of a colleague, an inquest has heard. The coroner indicated that the death of firefighter Stephen Hunt may have tipped father-of-two Lee Gaunt, 41, over the edge, and said he was “concerned” at the adequacy of occupational health support provided to firefighters.
Manchester Evening News. More on work-related suicide. Risks 739. 20 February 2016.

Australia: Six time more site worker suicides than fatalities
A national suicide prevention group has revealed construction workers are six times more likely to die by suicide than in workplace accidents. The industry-run MATES in Construction organisation also said suicide and suicidal behaviour cost the industry more than Aus$1.5 billion (£0.72bn) a year.
MATES in Construction. ABC News. Risks 730. 28 November 2015

Britain: Another teacher suicide linked to Ofsted inspections
An award-winning headteacher hanged herself shortly after Ofsted downgraded her school, an inquest has been told. Carol Woodward, the long-serving head of Woodford primary school near Plymouth, suffered a swift decline in her mental health that coincided with an inspection by Ofsted as well as disruptive building work to expand the school.
Plymouth Herald. The Guardian. More on work-related suicides. Risks 730. 28 November 2015

Britain: Suicides linked to fit-for-work test areas 
Nearly 600 suicides in England could be associated with the government's "fit-for-work" tests, researchers have found. A team from Oxford and Liverpool universities looked at 2010-13 data and also that each additional 10,000 people subjected to a WCA was associated with an additional six suicides, 2,700 cases of reported mental health problems, and the prescribing of an additional 7,020 anti-depressants.  
B Barr, D Taylor-Robinson, D Stuckler, R Loopstra, A Reeves, M Whitehead. ‘First, do no harm’: are disability assessments associated with adverse trends in mental health? A longitudinal ecological study, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Online First, 16 November 2015. doi:10.1136/jech-2015-206209   
The GuardianBBC News OnlineMorning StarRisks 729. 21 November 2015

Britain: Fit for work ruling ‘caused suicide’
A man with severe depression hanged himself as a direct cause of being deemed “fit for work” by a medically unqualified government assessor, a coroner has ruled. The Disability News Service (DNS) unearthed the coroner’s report on the suicide of Michael O’Sullivan, 60, saying that it appeared to be the first case in which a coroner explicitly linked Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sanctions to a death.
Disability News Service report. The Independent. Morning Star. Risks 721. 26 September 2015

Australia: FIFO report a first step to halting suicides
Unions in Australia have said they will push hard to ensure sweeping reforms to reduce the rate of suicide and self-harm among ‘Fly-In, Fly-Out’ (FIFO) workers are implemented across isolated mining worksites in Western Australia. Improved rosters, better accommodation and reliable communications with home are among changes proposed in ‘The impact of FIFO Work Practices on Mental Health’, the final report of a bipartisan WA Parliamentary Committee.
AMWU news release. Manufacturing Matters. WA Today. The Conversation. The Australian. ABC News. Risks 708. 27 June 2015

Australia: Pressure brings more site suicides than fatalities
The statistics on suicide in Australia’s construction industry are alarming, with around 50 people taking their own lives each year in Queensland alone, with another 150 workers in the state permanently disabled following a suicide attempt. Suicide outstrips death by accidents in the construction sector six to one, something attributed to the industry’s long hours, high stress and transient lifestyle.
The Courier. Risks 698. 18 April 2015

Britain: Union links justice changes to suicides
Justice secretary Chris Grayling has “blood on his hands” after the suicides of two probation officers and a convict’s murder of an ex-partner, the general secretary of the probation union Napo has said. In a speech to the TUC conference, Ian Lawrence criticised the government for splitting the probation service in two.
Morning StarMore on work-related suicidesRisks 67220 September 2014

Britain: Suicide linked to performance monitoring
The widow of a Stafford planning officer found hanged has told an inquest her husband was “very distressed” by performance monitoring at work. Nicky Atkins challenged claims that 45-year-old Phil Atkins was only subject to “informal” monitoring following concerns about the standard of his work at Stafford Borough Council’s planning department.
Staffordshire NewsletterMore on work-related suicideRisks 66319 July 2014.

Britain: Work concerns led to top scientist’s suicide
An eminent scientist took his own life after struggling with problems at work and a spiralling workload, an inquest has heard. Entomologist Dr Mark Jervis, 62, killed himself in his 6th floor office of the university’s School of Biosciences on 11 March.
Wales OnlineThe TelegraphCardiff University obituaryMore on work-related suicideRisks 65814 June 2014

Britain: Excessive checks ‘drove teacher toward suicide’
A harrowing regime of extreme monitoring by school bosses helped drive a teacher to suicide, the NASUWT union conference heard last week. Medway delegate Andrew Green described how an “inventive, inspiring and creative teacher” he knew had taken her own life after being ground down by an invasive system of appraisals and check-ups.
Morning StarPersonnel TodayMore on work-related suicidesRisks 65126 April 2014

France: More ‘work-related’ suicides at telecoms giant
Ten employees of the telecoms giant Orange France have killed themselves since the beginning of 2014, nearly as many as the whole of last year, an organisation that monitors work conditions at the firm has said. Labelling it a “serious alert”, the Observatory for Stress and Forced Mobility said the majority of these suicides – eight out of ten - were “explicitly related to work.”
Observatory for Stress and Forced Mobility news release (in French) • The GuardianThe IndependentMore on work-related suicidesRisks 64829 March 2014

Britain: Worker kills himself after stress claim
An inquest has heard that a top lawyer told a colleague he was going to kill himself the day before he threw himself under a Tube train. David Latham, 58, a world-renowned trademark lawyer at a large law company, was said to be 'inconsolable' with worry, and told a fellow partner that he was planning to kill himself after weeks of sleepless nights over the fate of a big case.
Fulham ChronicleRisks 62321 September 2013

Britain: Nurse traumatised by the job killed himself
A nurse was found hanged at his home after being traumatised by the job and a poorly handled and false accusation from a patient, an inquest heard.  Coroner Ian Smith said Christopher Milnes, 50, “was told there was no foundation in what was alleged but he was still stressed,” adding: “He was also stressed from the very traumatic events he had been party to as a nurse.”
The Westmorland Gazette • More on work-related suicidesRisks 61420 July 2013

Britain: NUJ wants to see improvements after BBC suicide
The suicide death of an overworked and stressed journalist whose complaints of harassment were mishandled by the BBC show the broadcaster has got to seriously improve its work practices and procedures, the union NUJ has said. Russell Joslin, 50, killed himself after complaining of being sexually harassed by a female colleague; he was also extremely unhappy at work, feeling unable to cope with increased workloads and extra stress caused by low levels of staffing at his radio station.
NUJ statementBBC News OnlineThe IndependentRisks 61313 July 2013

Britain: ‘Unreasonable pressure’ led to dentist’s suicide
A dentist killed himself after facing “unreasonable pressure” from health chiefs over standards of record keeping at his practice in Leeds, an inquest has heard. Dr Anand Kamath, 42, was in danger of being referred to the General Dental Council and feared for his career.
Yorkshire Evening Post • More on work-related suicide •  Risks 606 • 25 May 2013

Britain: Work stress led to school head’s suicide
A stressed headteacher found hanged at her school in Worcestershire killed herself, a coroner has ruled. Helen Mann,  whose body was discovered in a stairwell at Sytchampton First School near Stourport-on-Severn on 5 November 2012, was concerned that if an Ofsted inspection was imminent, the school would lose its 'oustanding' rating.
Kidderminster ShuttleBBC News OnlineMalvern GazetteMore on work-related suicidesRisks 6034 May 2013

Britain: BBC policy change after journalist’s suicide
The BBC has apologised and amended its policy on bullying and harassment after a radio journalist took his own life. The move by the broadcaster came after an inquiry found the BBC's handling of complaints from Russell Joslin was “not good enough.”
BBC News Online and The Granger reportPersonnel TodayThe ScotsmanMore on work-related suicideRisks 60013 April 2013

Britain: Government policy is promoting suicides
The UK recession has led to a sharp rise in suicides, a new study has found. The researchers warn that the government’s austerity programme is not worth the human cost and efforts should instead centre on job creation.
David Stuckler and others. Suicides associated with the 2008-2010 recession in England: time-trend analysis, www.bmj.com, published online 14 July 2012 • Risks 56918 August 2012

Japan: Teacher’s suicide was caused by work
A schoolteacher’s suicide was work-related, the Tokyo High Court has ruled. Kimura Yuriko started teaching in 2004 at an elementary school, but quickly admitted to problems coping with the behaviour of some pupils, raising the issue repeatedly with school management.
Japan PressRisks 567 4 August 2012

Britain: Suicide 33 years after devastating work injury
A Cambridgeshire man shot himself 33 years after an injury at work left him in a wheelchair, an inquest has heard. Brian Longridge of St Neots left a note to his sister Margaret Corke saying he was “sorry” before shooting himself with a 12-bore shotgun in his bedroom on 3 April.
News and CrierMore on work-related suicidesRisks 567 4 August 2012

Japan: Work suicides, heart disease and depression up
Official compensation payouts for work-related suicides and depression in Japan are running at a record high, the health ministry has said. Figures for 2011 reveal the number of payouts approved for work-related mental illnesses climbed to an all-time high of 325 in the 2011 tax year.
Japan TimesRisks 56123 June 2012

Global: Italian widows highlight worker suicides
The grieving wives and family members of more than 25 businessmen who have taken their own lives because of financial woes linked to Italy's economic crisis took to the streets of Bologna on 4 May. The organisers of the march, including the Italian Women's Union, believe there has been too little dialogue and not enough state support for families that have fallen into despair over unemployment, bankruptcies and loan defaults.
ILO news release and full report, World of Work Report 2012: Better Jobs for a Better EconomyTUC Touchstone blogThe GuardianBBC News OnlineHazards occupational suicide webpagesRisks 5545 May 2012

Britain: Job pressures led to suicide
A Hampshire firefighter who took his own life had been taken on too much work, an inquest has heard. Father-of-three Martin Coles was found hanged in a wooded area in Wickham on 9 August last year.
Portsmouth NewsMore on work-related suicideRisks 53921 January 2012

Britain: Austerity measures ‘may increase suicide rates’
The government’s austerity measures could lead to an increase in suicides, Unite has said. In response to an official consultation, ‘Preventing suicide in England: a cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives’, the union draws parallels with the Greek economic meltdown which led to a reported 40 per cent rise in suicides in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2010.
Unite news releaseMore on work-related suicideRisks 52822 October 2011

Japan: Overwork suicide payout is upheld
Japan’s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by two companies against a work-related suicide compensation award. A court order now requires camera and optical products giant Nikon Corp and a Nagoya-based temp agency to pay compensation of over £0.5m for the 1999 death of 23-year-old temporary worker Yuji Uendan, who killed himself because of overwork-induced depression.
Japan TimesJapan and Tokyo NewsMore on work-related suicideRisks 5268 October 2011

Australia: Work suicide ‘epidemic’ spurs union action
An ‘epidemic’ of work-related suicide affecting construction workers in Australia has prompted a union campaign to extend support to members under strain. CFMEU’s pilot ‘Mates in Construction’ suicide prevention programme trains mentors to pick up warning signs in work colleagues and offer an understanding ear and professional help.
CFMEU news releaseACTU news releaseRisks 52210 September 2011

Britain: Stress and workload linked to suicide death
A council lawyer hanged himself because he was “unable to cope” with his increasing workload and implementing a contentious cuts programme, an inquest has heard. David White, who had worked for the authority for more than 20 years, was found dead in Butley Woods, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, on 4 April.
BBC News OnlineDaily TelegraphThe GuardianDaily MirrorHazards work-related suicide webpagesRisks 5213 September 2011

Europe: Suicide rates 'linked' to financial crisis
The financial crisis “almost certainly” led to an increase in suicides, health experts have concluded. An analysis by US and UK researchers found a rise in suicides was recorded among working age people from 2007 to 2009 in nine of the 10 European nations studied.
David Stuckler and others. Effects of the 2008 recession on health: a first look at European data, The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9786, Pages 124 - 125, 9 July 2011. BBC News OnlineRisks 51416 July 2011

Korea: Samsung blocks suicide investigation
Multinational microelectronics giant Samsung is blocking an investigation into a workplace suicide, campaigners have charged. Last week, the mother, older sister, and aunt of Kim Ju-hyeon positioned themselves in front of the head office of Samsung Electronics in Seoul, holding a funeral portrait and wailing.
Stop Samsung campaignThe HankyorehRisks 49712 March 2011

Japan: Mazda told to pay up for worker suicide
A Japanese court has ordered car manufacturer Mazda to pay 63 million yen (£470,000) in damages to the parents of an employee who was ruled to have taken his own life because of overwork-related depression. The latest damages plus the other payments give the parents the entire 110 million yen (£825,000) they demanded in their lawsuit filed against Mazda in 2008.
Today onlineMore on work-related suicideRisks 496 5 March 2011

France: Postal worker suicide ‘71st in a year’
The suicide of a French postal worker has prompted fears about working conditions in the country’s Post Office. A 56-year-old worker killed himself on 8 January in Bouches-du-Rhône, in southeast France, in what unions says is the fifth suicide in the region in a year and the 71st nationwide.
RFI.frRisks 49022 January 2011

Britain: Job loss digger driver killed himself
A digger driver from Hull hanged himself after losing his job, an inquest has heard.
Patrick McLaughlin, 52, been made redundant when the company he was working for went into liquidation in August last year.
Hull Daily MailTUC news releaseRisks 461 • 19 June 2010

Global: Unions call for action on Foxconn suicides
A global union confederation has said it is “gravely concerned” at the tragic suicides at Foxconn Technology Group in Shenzhen, China. ITUC says the Taiwanese Foxconn group is at the heart of the ‘Made in China’ export model.
ITUC news releaseGood Electronics and makeITfair joint statement • Sign up to the Labourstart appeal in support of the Foxconn workersRisks 459 • 5 June 2010

China: Electronics giant faces suicide controversy
Foxconn Technology, the giant contractor that manufacturers the iPhone and other brand name consumer electronics, has defended its employment standards after the suicide death of an eighth worker.
CBC NewsCult of MacXinhua.netRisks 457 • 22 May 2010

Australia: Suicidal worker told to ‘toughen up’
Fifteen years as a single-crew ambulance officer left Rick Wallace with post-traumatic stress disorder and a serious back injury - he would sometimes have to carry patients by piggyback to a stretcher because he was on his own. A manager told him to “cowboy up” when he attempted suicide in September 2006, and he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sydney Morning HeraldPolice Post Trauma Support GroupRisks 445 • 8 May 2010

China: Foxconn ‘suicide express’ production exposed
A spate of suicides among young workers has highlighted oppressive management methods at the global electronics giant Foxconn, local unions say. Wang Tongxin, vice-chair of the Shenzhen Federation of Trade Unions said Foxconn had “developed a kind of quasi-military management system” combined with tight production schedules.
China DailyChina Labour BulletinMore on occupational suicidesRisks 452 • 17 April 2010

France: Talks after suicides shock Disneyland
Union representatives and managers have been in talks over the working environment at Disneyland Paris after three workers killed themselves in the last eight weeks. The most recent suicide was that of a Eurodisney chef, who was found hanged at his home over a week ago.
Sky NewsThe IndependentThe Sunday TimesMore on occupational suicidesRisks 451 • 10 April 2010

Britain: Recession leads to depression
The number of people suffering stress, anxiety and depression because of redundancies, job insecurity and pay cuts owing to the recession is soaring, a study has found. Worries about the effects of the downturn have produced a sharp rise in people experiencing symptoms of common mental health conditions, according to the report, by academics from Roehampton University and the children’s charity Elizabeth Finn Care.
Elizabeth Finn Care news releaseThe GuardianGMTVDaily ExpressRisks 451 • 10 April 2010

Britain: Teaching stresses leave staff ‘suicidal’
The pressures piled on teachers are so severe some staff have considered suicide, research for the union NASUWT has found. Its survey found a lack of support from schools and their management teams was leading to stress, burnout and depression. Politics.co.uk • . Hazards occupational suicide webpagesRisks 451 • 10 April 2010

France: Unions criticise suicide response plan
Unions have said plans by France Telecom to address the “social crisis” that has made the company name synonymous with workplace suicides do not go far enough. Under the plan to remedy organisational ills that have seen the French president intervene, France Telecom will recruit 3,500 people in 2010 in order to reduce workloads and stress and job transfers will be voluntary and not mandatory, a departure from the previous policy.
UNI news reportRisks 450 • 3 April 2010

Britain: Unionised workers are happier workers
Unions can help prevent staff feeling stressed and de-motivated by new working practices and reduce the number of staff quitting their jobs, according to a new report from the TUC. The publication comes in the wake of recent international scandals linking the recession, job insecurity and company restructuring to a deterioriation in staff health and well-being and to an increased suicide risk.
TUC news release • The road to recovery, Touchstone Pamphlet, TUC, March 2010 [pdf] • Risks 448 • 20 March 2010

France: ‘Radical change’ after telecom suicides
France Télécom’s new management must move quickly “to take charge and encourage radical change” if it is to put an end to a suicide crisis, according to a study commissioned by the company. The team of Stéphane Richard, who formally succeeded Didier Lombard as chief executive on 1 March, has a “few weeks” to install a new style of leadership to address the crisis, according to an interim report from Technologia, a human resources consulting firm.
Telecom TVNew York TimesRisks 447 • 13 March 2010

Australia: Tragedies linked to compensation worries
Injured workers in South Australia are going without food and medication and some have been driven to suicide because they cannot afford basic necessities, it has been claimed. SA Unions, the umbrella organisation for unions in the state, is campaigning to “restore fairness” in the system, which is says is currently “the costliest, least fair and most poorly managed workers compensation scheme in the nation.”
Ann Bressington news releaseSA Unions news release • The WorkCover Suicide video can be viewed on the Todaytonight websiteRisks 446 • 6 March 2010

Britain: Head’s suicide 'linked' to school inspection
The death of an “outstanding” headteacher was “inextricably linked” to the outcome of a school inspection, a sheriff has concluded. Irene Hogg's body was discovered at a secluded spot near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders in March 2008, days after she received critical feedback from the visit.
The IndependentThe GuardianBorder Telegraph The Herald.
Hazards work-related suicides news and resourcesRisks 440 • 23 January 2010

Finland: Union says suicides are only the start
This autumn four employees of the Rautaruukki steel mill in Raahe, Finland, took their own lives. But they represent only the tip of the iceberg, according to union shop steward Mika Vuoti and safety representative Alpo Pirneskoski.
Trade Union News from FinlandRisks 436 • 12 December 2009

France: More company concessions on suicides
France Télécom is preparing to set aside €1 billion (£90m) as part of a plan to end a spate of suicides amongst staff by offering older workers the chance to go part-time. The telecommunications giant, which has already suspended restructuring, said it may enable staff aged over 57 to work part time under a stress reduction programme.
The TimesRisks 431 • 7 November 2009

Britain: Job stress led to suicide
The pressure of an unwanted promotion led to a young professional's suicide, an inquest has heard. On his 29th birthday, 30 May this year, Benjamin Cheung drove his BMW to a secluded train station car park and stabbed himself three times with a kitchen knife.
Preston CitizenRisks 430 • 31 October 2009

France: Firm moves to end work suicides
After union protests over 24 workers killing themselves in 18 months, France Télécom boss Didier Lombard says he wants a “new social contract” with trade unions. Suicide notes have blamed high levels of work stress on workers’ decisions to end their lives and Lombard - whose number two, Louis-Pierre Wenes, resigned this week after intense criticism of the company’s handling of the crisis - has promised to ease up on workforce mobility, which has been a bone of contention.
France Télécom statement and news releaseRadio FranceBBC News OnlineThe GuardianRisks 427 • 10 October 2009

France: Hotline plan for suicidal telecoms staff
France Telecom has promised to set up a free hotline for workers suffering from stress after the 23rd suicide by one of its employees in 18 months. The move followed a crisis meeting between the French labour minister, Xavier Darcos, and France Telecom's chief executive, Didier Lombard.
BBC News OnlineConnected ResearchHazards suicide webpagesRisks 424 • 19 September 2009

Global: Work pressures lead to suicide problem
Reports from Ireland, France, the USA and the UK have identified a sharp rise in suicide risks related to work. These follow 'Crying shame', a report last year from Hazards magazine, that warned work factors could account for up to 250 suicide deaths in the UK each year.
Irish ExaminerTruthout translation of L'Humanité articleUS Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and Occupational suicides: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, BLS, USA, August 2009 [pdf]. Hazards work-related suicide webpagesRisks 423 • 12 September 2009

USA: Big leap in suicides at work
The recession may be driving more people to take their lives at work, new statistics from the US suggest. The number of people who killed themselves at work in the US rose 28 per cent to an all-time high last year.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries • Business Insurance • The Guardian • Hazards work-related suicide webpages • Risks 421 • 29 August 2009

Europe: Warning on recession related death risk
The stress triggered by job losses could see suicides rise across Europe if governments fail to take preventive action, according to a new study. Researchers concluded that soaring stress brought on by job losses could prompt a 2.4 per cent rise in suicide rates in people under 64 years of age, a 2.7 per cent rise in heart attack deaths in men between 30 and 44 years, and a 2.4 per cent rise in homicides rates.
LSHTM news release. David Stuckler and others. The public health effect of economic crises and alternative policy responses in Europe: an empirical analysis, The Lancet, 8 July 2009 • Science DailyThe GuardianSky NewsBBC News OnlineRisks 414 • 11 July 2009

Australia: Bullying blamed for apprentice suicide
The suicide of a teenage apprentice, tormented while working for a state government contractor in New South Wales, Australia, has highlighted the problem of workplace bullying. Alec Meikle, 16, was an apprentice with rail contractor Downer Edi, where his workmates threatened to rape him and set him on fire.
Live News • More on work-related suicideRisks 412 • 4 July 2009

Japan: Record numbers worked to death
Record numbers of Japanese workers were worked to death last year, according to official compensation figures. A total of 269 cases qualified for state compensation last year, one up on the preceding year and a record high for the third straight year.
Japan TodayRisks 410 • 13 June 2009

Britain: Job problems drove school head to suicide
A headmaster hanged himself after discovering that the parents of a pupil were bringing a tribunal complaint about his school, an inquest has heard. Neil Sears, 52, who was found hanging from a heating pipe in the boiler room at Meadowgate School, in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, on 20 January this year left a note on a fax machine, which read: “I just give up, sorry.”
The TelegraphWisbech StandardNorfolk Eastern Daily PressPeterborough TodayHazards occupational suicide webpagesRisks 410 • 13 June 2009

Britain: Schools pressure linked to mental illness
Schools are blighted by stress-induced mental illness and many teachers face burn-out before they retire, according to teaching union NUT. It says teachers in England and Wales have an almost 40 per cent greater rate of suicide than the general population.
The GuardianCrying shame, Hazards 101, 2008Risks 402 • 18 April 2009

Global: Job insecurity linked to suicides
Researchers in France have identified a clear correlation between job insecurity and suicidal tendencies. American psychologists have coined the phrase “econocide” to describe a wave of suicides they say are linked to the current global economic crisis, and the phenomenon has also been recognised in the UK, where Edinburgh University’s Professor Stephen Platt said an upturn in suicides “is not only because more people become unemployed and, as a result, more psychologically vulnerable, but also because those in employment feel threatened too.”
HESA news reportBBC News OnlineMore on work-related suicide risksRisks 399 • 28 March 2009

USA: Army recruiters describe job nightmare
The suicides of four US Army recruiters from a single battalion has focused lawmakers and veterans advocates on the enormous stress endured by soldiers tasked with refilling the ranks of the country’s all-volunteer military. In response to the deaths, the Army suspended all recruiting nationwide last week to focus on leadership training, suicide prevention and the health of its 8,900 recruiters.
Houston Chronicle • Hazards website. www.hazards.org/suicideRisks 394 • 21 February 2009

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