Employers need to be aware of the signs of stress in their workers and deal with them before it is too late, according to an ergonomic consultancy.

Failure to act on the symptoms of stress can lead to staff taking sick leave which in turn puts more pressure on the rest of the workforce, System Concepts says.

According to a survey by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, over half of workers fear redundancy is on the horizon.

Tom Stewart, joint managing director of System Concepts, said people who are suffering from stress tend to keep quiet until it is too late.

"Management has to be vigilant and look out for signs that somebody is having a problem because it is much more effective to nip it in the bud," he added.

The survey also showed 19 per cent of workers believe their employer is struggling financially in the current economic crisis.

According to a report by Maven Research, 61 per cent of employees say they are feeling more under pressure than they were a year ago.