Along with my colleague, Rhys Martindale, I attended last night’s Thames Valley IOSH meeting at the Nike Theatre, University of Reading. IOSH meetings are a great way for myself and my colleagues to keep abreast of HSE news and legislation updates as well as providing a great opportunity to meet up with some familiar faces. This month’s talk was presented by Rosemary Anderson, a HSE stress consultant for APP Consultancy, who spoke about Health and wellbeing within the workplace.
The talk was very informative and tackled the subject of stress at work, something I am sure we are all familiar with. According to the Health and Safety Executive stress is defined as:
“An adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed upon them. It arises when they worry they cannot cope.”
According to information on the HSE website the number of people reporting that they are experiencing work related stress at a level that they believe is making them ill has doubled since the early 1990s.
Rosemary spoke of the need for a common sense approach to HSE Stress Management and detailed the need for managers to take stress risk assessment seriously. The reasons why managers should tackle stress at work is threefold. As a manager it is your moral obligation to ensure your employees are well cared for, it is your legal obligation to comply with legal duties of care, and at the end of the day you can reduce the economic costs to your organisation that come as a result of poor performance and staff absence. Retention, litigation, retraining, insurance premiums can all be extremely costly to any organisation, and certainly prevention can be far more cost effective than cure.
At the moment individual stress risk assessments are not a legal requirement, but collective risk assessments are. Individual risk assessments for stress in the workplace should follow 3 simple steps:
• Verbal conversation between line manager and employee
• Issues are raised and solutions are discussed. Actions are decided upon and recorded
• Suitable date for review is decided and recorded
Individual risk assessments that follow the following 3 stages may not be a requirement but can make very good business sense!
David Cronin (LinkedIn)
Recruiter at Shirley Parsons Associates specialising in FM & Property