Hazards suicide webpages




Australia: Trackers ‘drive employees over edge’
Employers are fitting out company vehicles with invasive GPS tracking systems despite claims the technology unnecessarily invades staff privacy and contributed to the suicide of a telecommunications engineer last year. One such tracker, the GoFinder Reporter, sends employers detailed daily time sheets showing every stop made, parked time, driving time, distance covered, maximum speed and even an estimate of the amount of fuel used.
Risks 374
Hazards news, 20 September 2008

Australia: Depressing text message leads to suicide
The family of Tony Cecere, a 53-year-old Australian worker with a history of depression who killed himself after being fired, has been awarded Aus$367,000 (£177,000) in compensation. A judge ruled a text message calling on him to return his mobile phone and work car triggered an acute depressive episode leading to his suicide. Hazards suicide webpages
Hazards news, 21 June 2008

Britain: Inquest told of mother’s work stress
A nurse who was suffering from work-related stress was found dead after consuming a cocktail of sedatives, an inquest has heard. Statements read at Michele Wood’s inquest, where the coroner recorded an open verdict, revealed how the pressures of her job mounted in the days leading up to her disappearance.
Ipswich Evening Star Hazards suicide webpages Risks 361
Hazards news, 21 June 2008

Japan: Toyota acts on deadly overwork
Toyota is taking steps to deal with a corporate culture that been linked to deaths from overwork. From June, the company is to pay workers overtime for attending out-of-hours ‘kaizen’ or quality control (QC) circle meetings - it previously only allowed workers to claim two hours' overtime a month for such “voluntary” activities.
Asahi ShimbunBBC News OnlineMore on karoshi and karojisatsuRisks 358
Hazards news, 31 May 2008

Britain: Head teacher ‘suicide’ inquiry call
Relatives of a Scottish head teacher thought to have taken her own life after a critical school inspection have demanded a fatal accident inquiry. The death of Irene Hogg, 54, at the end of March follows a spate of work-related teacher suicides, a number linked to school inspections.
BBC News OnlineThe TimesDaily RecordDaily MailScottish Borders Council tribute page to Irene HoggRisks 358
Hazards news, 31 May 2008

Britain: Stressed BBC worker killed herself
A senior BBC executive has become the latest victim of work-related suicide. Kari Boto, 53, killed herself after feeling “isolated and under-supported” in her job, an inquest has heard. She was found immersed in the sea on 27 June last year - three days before her BBC contract had been due to expire.
Evening StarMail on SundayHazards work-related suicides webpagesRisks 357
Hazards news, 24 May 2008

Britain: Unhappy work life led to suicide
A Lincolnshire man hanged himself from a tree because he hated his job. Paul Lilley, 49, drove off to the Fens at Holbeach Marsh on 24 January after what his daughter Emma described as bullying at work. She said at one point he had been ill and sent a private letter detailing his problems, but when he went back to work the whole factory knew about these problems.
Spalding TodayCrying shame: Hazards dossier exposes suicide crisis at work, Hazards magazine, Number 101, January-March 2008 Risks 346
Hazards news, 8 March 2008

Britain: Warning on work-related suicides
Work-related suicides could be killing over 250 workers in the UK each year, according to a new report – more than die in workplace accidents. The news comes as a union-backed case at the House of Lords confirmed the widow of a worker depressed after a workplace injury and who subsequently killed himself should receive compensation.
Crying shame: Hazards dossier exposes suicide crisis at work, Hazards magazine, Number 101, January-March 2008 • Rowley Ashworth news releaseRisks 345
Hazards news, 1 March 2008

Europe: More hit by psychosocial risks
New forms of employment contracts, job insecurity, work intensification, high emotional demands, violence at work and a poor work-life balance are taking a heavy toll on an increasing number of Europe’s workers. The emerging psychosocial risks are spelled out in an expert forecast from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work’s (EU-OSHA) European Risk Observatory (ERO).
EU-OSHA news release and factsheet on emerging psychosocial risksExpert forecast on emerging psychosocial risks related to occupational safety and healthRisks 341
Hazards news, 2 February 2008

Britain: Charity warning on bullying at work
Bullying in the workplace is “endemic” in the UK, affecting 80 per cent of employees, the Samaritans has warned. The findings are published as part of the charity's campaign to highlight the importance of mental health at work.
TUC bullying webpagesRisks 339
Hazards news, 19 January 2008

Britain: Overworked probation officer 'forced out'
An overworked probation officer was forced to sell his house and car as he pursued a three-year legal battle to prove he was a victim of discrimination. Now an employment tribunal has ruled that Steven Collingwood, 38, of Carlisle, did suffer disability discrimination and harassment after a nervous breakdown was brought on by overwork in November 2004.
News and StarWorked to death resourcesRisks 338
Hazards news, 12 January 2008

Britain: Mental health is a workplace issue
Stress is one of top workplace health problems – and it comes with a big cost. A new policy paper published by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (SCMH) says mental ill health costs UK employers more than £25bn a year.
SCMH news release • Mental health at work: Developing the business case, Policy paper 8 [pdf]
Hazards news, 22 December 2007

Britain: Tragedy highlights deadly teacher stress
Further evidence of the deadly stresses facing education staff has emerged after another teacher suicide. Keith Waller, 35, an experienced primary school teacher who was highly regarded by colleagues, pupils and parents took his own life, after complaining he felt “singled out” and placed under excessive scrutiny after the school received a poor Ofsted report in 2006.
East Anglian Daily TimesDaily Mail
Hazards news, 22 December 2007

Britain: Ofsted inspection ‘led to death’
A head teacher killed himself, with the action “triggered” by fears over an Ofsted inspection of his primary school the following day, a coroner has ruled. Jed Holmes was off work with stress when he was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning at his flat; he died on the eve of an Ofsted inspection in July 2007 at Hampton Hargate Primary School, Peterborough.
BBC News Online
Hazards news, 15 December 2007

Japan: Court rules man was worked to death
A court in central Japan has ordered the government to pay compensation to a woman who argued that her 30-year-old husband died from overwork at Toyota Motor Corp, Japan's largest car maker. Hiroko Uchino filed the suit after a local Labour Ministry office rejected applications for workers’ compensation benefits she filed after the death of her husband, Kenichi, said Hiroko Tamaki, a lawyer for the plaintiff.
Japan TimesSan Francisco Chronicle
Hazards news, 8 December 2007

Britain: Controversy over mental health measures
The government will treble the number of employment advisers in GP surgeries and pilot a new £8m advice and support service for smaller businesses as part of a new approach it says will help people with stress and other mental health conditions find and keep work. The drive to get people with mental health problems off benefits and into work has been criticised by mental health charity Mind.
DWP news releaseMind news release
Hazards news, 1 December 2007

France: Survey confirms firm’s deadly stresses
A trade union survey has confirmed high levels of work-related stress at a French car factory that has been hit by a series of suicides. In recent months, five employees of the Peugeot Citroën factory in Mulhouse, in the east of France, have killed themselves.
ETUI-REHS news report
Hazards news, 6 October 2007

Global: Psychosocial risks and work-related stress
The World Health Organisation’s global occupational health network (GOHNET) has in its latest newsletter turned its attention to psychosocial risks and work-related stress. The document concentrates on countries in economic transition and newly industrialised and developing countries, but has a great deal of useful information for anyone interested in these topics anywhere.
WHO occupational health webpages • Addressing psychosocial risks and work-related stress in countries in economic transition, in newly industrialized countries, and in developing countries, GOHNET Newsletter [pdf]
Hazards news, 22 September 2007

Global: Stressful jobs cause depression
Having a high pressure job doubles the risk of depression and anxiety in young adults, UK researchers have warned. A study of 972 32-year-olds found 45 per cent of new cases of depression and anxiety were attributable to stressful work.
Maria Melchior and others. Work stress precipitates depression and anxiety in young, working women and men, Psychological Medicine, volume 37, issue 8, pages 1119-1129, 2007
Hazards news, 4 August 2007

France: Renault could face courts over suicides
Car maker Renault could face prosecution for the suicides of three workers at its technical centre in Paris, after the French Work Inspectorate submitted the findings of its investigation to the public prosecutor. Three employees at the company's state-of-the-art Technocentre killed themselves between October 2006 and February 2007.
Personnel Today
Hazards news, 28 July 2007

France: Second car firm linked to suicides
A second French car firm has had oppressive management practices linked to worker suicides. CGT trade union representatives at the Mulhouse site of Peugeot-Citroën in eastern France have denounced management's practice of sending “guilt-inducing” letters to workers on sick leave, a practice the union says is unacceptable, particularly in the light of the suicide of four workers at the site over the last two months.
ETUI-REHS news report
Hazards news, 30 June 2007

Britain: Hospital reforms drove manager to suicide
The NHS has been urged to consider the impact of reforms on staff, after a despairing hospital manager Morag Wilson, 32, threw herself to her death from a motorway bridge. An inquest heard that Ms Wilson, head of dietetics at the hospital, had been facing huge pressure at work because of government reforms under the Agenda for Change review.
The Guardian
Hazards news, 30 June 2007

Australia: Another suicide linked to top firm
The family and friends of Leon Dousset, a line technician at Australian communications giant Telstra who killed himself, believe increasing performance targets and plans to install satellite tracking in his work van drove him to suicide. The allegations follow the suicide of Telstra call centre worker Sally Sandic in January.
Daily TelegraphDetails of the Australian work suicides report
Hazards news, 23 June 2007

France: Renault suicides cause concern
Three suicides in six months at a French car multinational’s research centre have highlighted concerns about the intolerable workplace stress facing overworked staff. The latest suicide at Renault’s Technocentre followed two deaths in autumn 2006. Vincent Neveu, the CGT union official covering the group’s engineering and white collar workers, said: “One figure probably sums up the situation for staff at this plant better than anything: the management itself has said that every employee ‘donates’ an average of 40 days’ leave entitlement each year to the company as they are unable to meet their targets in the time available.”
ITUC spotlight interview
Hazards news, 9 June 2007

Britain: Staff mental illness 'increasing'
Mental illness is now the second largest reason for UK workers taking time off, a report suggests, headed only by musculoskeletal disorders. A study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found an increasing amount of sickness leave is due to depression or stress.
CIPD news releaseBBC News Online
Hazards news, 9 June 2007

Global: Workers are damaged by job cuts
Workplace restructuring and job losses have a serious effect on the health and well-being of workers, a top academic has concluded. In a paper for Australia’s National Research Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, Professor Michael Quinlan said international evidence has linked downsizing and organisational restructuring to poorer mental health outcomes, bullying, and other forms of occupational violence and concluded that regulators, employers and unions have failed to respond adequately to “substantial if not compelling evidence that downsizing and organisational restructuring pose a serious risk the physical and mental health and wellbeing of workers.”
Michael Quinlan. Organisational restructuring/ downsizing, OHS regulation and worker health and wellbeing, National Research Centre for OHS Regulation, Working Paper 52, 2007 [pdf]OHS Reps newsletter
Hazards news, 2 June 2007

Japan: Work stress payouts hit new record
A record 205 individuals qualified for workers' compensation insurance in the 2006 fiscal year after being diagnosed with depression and other psychological disorders brought about by work-related stress, Japan’s health ministry has said. The figure is 61 per cent up on the previous year.
International Herald Tribune
Hazards news, 26 May 2007

Australia: Suicide blamed on job burnout
The family of a young Australian call centre worker wants to sue telecommunications giant Telstra for allegedly contributing to her suicide. Sally Sandic, 21, took her life in January this year after months of mounting pressure on staff at a Telstra facility.
Risks 301,
Hazards news 7 April 2007

Global: Depression and drugs face job cut survivors
Workers who keep their jobs following a round of redundancies are almost as likely to end up on stress medication as their colleagues who are made redundant, according to new research. University College London researchers, writing in the February edition of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, said more help should be offered to “survivors”.
Risks 290
Hazards news, 20 January 2007

Japan: Suzuki liable for overwork death
The family of a Suzuki Motor Corporation employee who killed himself in April 2002 due to work pressures and depression are to receive compensation for karoshi, death from overwork. A lawsuit brought by the family was settled on 30 October 2006 when it was determined Suzuki had not implemented appropriate policies to reduce employee workloads and so was liable.
Risks 282
Hazards news, 11 November 2006

Finland: Work strain causes burnout causes depression
Workers with high levels of job strain are at a massively increased risk of burnout, a study of Finnish workers has found. Researchers also found that job burnout was the most significant risk factor for depression among the study participants.
Risks 281
Hazards news , 4 November 2006

Britain: Depressing shifts to blame for disability
A North East factory worker who became depressed because of the wearing effect of alternating shifts was discriminated against by his employer, a tribunal has found. Craig Routledge, 41, became depressed after working alternate day and night shifts for TRW Systems in Washington.
Risks 276
Hazards news, 30 September 2006

Britain: UK forced to tighten rules on work breaks
The TUC has welcomed a European Court of Justice (ECJ) judgment this week that said the UK government is breaking the law by not forcing employers to give their staff rest breaks.
Risks 273
Hazards news, 9 September 2006

Britain: Work pressure drove professor to kill herself
A university lecturer killed herself after she became unable to cope with the pressures of work. An inquest at West Sussex Coroners Court into the death of Diana Winstanley, 45, heard she hanged herself at her home on 5 July after struggling in a new post and becoming depressed.
Risks 272
Hazards news, 2 September 2006

Britain: Violence at work linked to clinical depression
Employees subjected to real or threatened violence at work run a major risk of becoming clinically depressed or suffering other stress related disorders, new research has concluded. A study in the September 2006 issue in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found the magnitude of the risk was in direct proportion to the amount of workplace violence experienced.
Risks 269
Hazards news, 12 August 2006

Britain: Bullied bank worker awarded £800,000
A City of London bank administrator who was subjected to what a judge described as “a deliberate and concerted campaign of bullying” by four women colleagues has been awarded £817,000 damages over the treatment she endured, which led to two nervous breakdowns.
Risks 268
Hazards news, 5 August 2006

Britain: Stressed out nurse awarded £140,000 payout
A member of health visitors’ union Amicus has been awarded £140,000 compensation after being exposed to a “health-endangering” workload. The High Court award was made after Melanie Garrod, 53, said she suffered two breakdowns when North Devon Primary Care Trust failed to bring in temporary staff to cover for colleagues on sickness or maternity leave.
Risks 268
Hazards news, 5 August 2006

Britain: Suicide note blamed work pressure
An engineer who killed himself wrote in a suicide note saying “the pressure of work has turned my mind into a ticking time bomb,” an inquest has heard. Cardiff Coroner's Court heard how 28-year-old Wayne Williams hanged himself after a party to mark the end of a year-long contract in Singapore.
Risks 262
Hazards news, 24 June 2006

Britain: Employer to blame for suicide
The firm that employed a man who killed himself years after suffering an injury at work is liable for his death, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Lord Justice Sedley said all the evidence suggested there was no other cause of Thomas Corr's suicide other than the injury he suffered at work, and he was previously a “rational man”.
Risks 251
Hazards news, 8 April 2006

Britain: Suicide verdict on bullied factory worker
A father of four killed himself after being bullied by his managers for two years, an inquest has heard. Anthony McDermott, 50, who left a letter explaining his factory floor ordeal before hanging himself, said he found a bullying campaign “soul destroying and demeaning”.
Risks 243
Hazards news, 11 February 2006

Britain: Work stress gets everywhere, study shows
Work as a librarian is more stressful than fighting fires or tackling criminals, new research suggests. Researchers examined perceived levels of stress and found one in three workers across occupations suffer from poor psychological health. They concluded all organisations need to take stress seriously.
Risks 240
Hazards news, 21 January 2006

Britain: Work stress linked to constable’s suicide
Workplace stress was a contributory factor in the suicide of a Merseyside police officer, a coroner has ruled. Pc Paula Tomlinson, 35, who was a member of a police firearms squad, was found hanged at her home in January 2004.
Risks 246
Hazards news, 4 March 2006