Work-related stress is a major cause of ill health and lost productivity in the UK. It can lead to serious physical and mental health problems for workers, as well as increased costs and risks for employers.
That’s why the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has created a new online learning tool that provides free, simple and effective guidance for employers on how to prevent and manage work-related stress in their workplaces.
The tool is part of HSE’s Working Minds campaign, which promotes good mental health in the workplace and helps employers to follow five simple steps based on risk assessment: Reach out, Recognise, Respond, Reflect and make it Routine.
Stress is the most common health and safety concern reported by trade union safety representatives in the UK, according to the latest biennial survey by the TUC. The survey, which gathered responses from over 3,000 safety reps across various sectors and regions, found that stress was mentioned as a top five hazard by 70 per cent of the reps. The survey also revealed that stress was the top concern in every sector except construction, where it ranked second after dusts and fumes. The report highlights the need for employers to take action to prevent and manage work-related stress, especially in the context of the pandemic and its impact on workers’ mental health. You can read the full report here: Trades union health and safety reps survey report.
The tool is made up of six short modules that take employers through relatable, everyday scenarios, such as how to recognise the signs of stress in individuals and teams, how to conduct a stress risk assessment, and how to implement and monitor effective control measures.
The tool is designed to help employers understand what the law requires of them and what actions they need to take to comply with their legal duties and protect their workers’ mental health.
The tool is free to use and does not take a long time to complete. It is suitable for businesses of any size and sector.
The tool is a much needed solution for employers who may lack the time, money or know-how to prevent and proactively tackle work-related stress.
According to HSE, more than half of small and medium sized businesses recently visited by HSE knew they had a legal duty to assess the risk of work-related stress, but the number who actually did this was significantly lower.
By providing this free learning, HSE aims to help lower the investment cost and assist employers to reap the potential benefits of preventing work-related stress, such as increased productivity, lower absenteeism and reduced staff turnover.
The tool also supports the aims of the Working Minds campaign, which is to raise awareness about the dangers of work-related stress and how to manage it safely, and to drive the culture change that is needed to make talking about stress and mental health the norm in the workplace.
The tool was launched on Wednesday 8th November at HSE’s online Health and Work conference. You can access the tool here.
Work-related stress is a serious issue that affects millions of workers and employers in the UK. Don’t let it affect you and your business. Take action today and learn how to prevent work-related stress with HSE’s new online learning tool.
Trades union health and safety reps survey report by TUC, 8th August, 2023.
New online learning tool helps businesses address work-related stress by HSE, 8th November, 2023.