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Website Highlights Epidemic of Overwork

Website Highlights Epidemic of Overwork

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is backing today’s launch of a website which gives global support to the campaign for work-life balance.

UK-based Hazards magazine is launching the website, http:// http://www.hazards.org/workedtodeath, which draws attention to the global epidemic of deaths caused by overwork.

“The reports on this site show the dire consequences of overwork including, in extreme cases, death,” CTU President Ross Wilson said today.

“All over the world, the challenge is to balance secure work, with time for family and a healthy lifestyle.”

Stress caused by overwork is a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and suicide. It is also identified as an issue in ‘Healthy Work’, a recent OSH publication which focuses on managing stress and fatigue in the workplace.

Recognising the problem of overwork, the CTU is running a campaign for work-life balance called ‘Get a Life!’

CTU research in 2002 revealed the consequences of overwork for ordinary New Zealanders. The ‘Thirty Families’ project was based on a series of interviews with working families, and the interim report detailed the effects of long working hours.

The report found that long hours were having a serious impact on workers’ ability to balance work with relationships, family life, and participation in the community.

It said that incredible stress was being placed on workers and their families by long hours and heavy workloads.

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