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stress

HSE releases tools to help employers manage stress in the workplace

Stress management is a big factor in health and safety which has knock-on effects for psychological wellbeing and accident prevention – so the HSE has released a series of new tools and resources to help employers manage stress in the workplace. 

The tools include online resources and new risk assessments that are intended to help employers spot signs of worker ill-mental health and develop strategies for dealing with them.

The HSE says the toll of psychological ill-health on an organisation can be really damaging, with risks including increased suicide rates and accidents due to psychological issues. These all have the ability to seriously impact health and safety.

The HSE is urging employers to review the stress-causing factors within their workplace that employees could be subjected to. With stress and depression accounting for 51% of all work-related ill health, the issue is a big problem for companies, their workforce and their efficiency, the body says.

The HSE Executive also released 6 key factors that need to be looked at when it comes to managing stress in the workplace. 

  1. Demands: workload and the work environment
  2. Control: how much control the individual has over their work
  3. Support: how much support and encouragement resources are available 
  4. Relationships: does the working environment encourage good behaviours? 
  5. Role: whether they understand their role within the organisation
  6. Change: how to change large or small is communicated

The HSE Executive’s Head of Stress and Mental Health Policy said: “It’s well known that stress can make you ill. We know that work-related stress depression and anxiety has increased in recent years, and the last year has presented new challenges that have never been faced before, and which may affect the workplaces of the UK for some time to come.

“Good communication is vital as stress affects people differently – what stresses one person may not affect another. If you don’t understand the problem or its extent, tackling it will be more difficult. Factors like skills and experience, age or disability may all affect whether an employee can cope. People feel stress when they can’t cope with the pressures or demands put on them, either in work or other outside issues. Start talking to your colleagues about any issues now – the earlier a problem is tackled the less impact it will have.”