Smile - to fight cost of stress

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Workers will be urged to smile this week to help relieve stress, which now affects one in three employees and is one of the main causes of ill-health, according to a new report.

A campaign by the British Safety Council aims to raise awareness of the dangers of stress, amid claims that employers ignore the problem.

As Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, the council will launch Smile for Safety Week tomorrow.

Its report said 90 million working days were lost every year through stress-related illnesses, costing British industry pounds 1.3 billion in absenteeism.

More than 150,000 people now received counselling for stress, twice as many as 10 years ago.