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Managing Stress at Work

As a Health & Safety officer for a large corporation in the IT sector, we have had to tackle the issue of Stress Management at work and i wanted to share what should be done to reduce stress related illness at work with everyone.The HSE (Health & Safety Executive)recently launched a new campaign based at employers to manage stress at work for all employees which sent panic round many industry sectors.Stress being explained as the "adverse effect people have to excessive pressure" summed up our assumptions of stress in the workplace with many people going off ill with stress but also G.P's not knowing enough about the symptoms and ready to sign off people for weeks on end without a full diagnosis.Employers need to be aware that stress is now classed as an accident at work and should be investigated fully, not just left at the docters letter sitting in the HR in-tray.Your employer should be looking for signs in their employees of stress like anxiety symptoms, heavy drinking has been linked to stress as people cannot deal with the pressure and turn to the bottle.

Managers are responsible and should receive stress management training & how to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments on stress either in a generic format or personal risk assessment on individuals.Impliment the control measures trained, ensure excessive working times are eliminated, all holiday entitlement is taken, consider job rotation,give the employee scope to control they way they work(reasonable), reporting structure for stress and not feel penalised for this, whistle blowing on bullying & harrassment and even consider confidential external councilling. A strong policy which is communicated to all employees is a good starting block for management of this issue.


By: Adam Parsons


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