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HSE guidelines on work-related stress

29 April 2005
HSE guidelines on work-related stress

In November 2004 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched 12 new management standards to help prevent excessive work-related stress.

The new material will help organisations meet their existing duty of care and their duty to assess the risk of work-related stress.

What does HSE expect employers to do?
HSE expects every employer to conduct risk assessments for health and safety hazards, including work-related stress. HSE recommends a five-step approach to risk assessment:

  • Look for the hazards
  • Decide who might be harmed and how
  • Evaluate the risk and decide what needs to be done
  • Record your findings
  • Monitor and review

The assessment should include:

  • Consulting with employees and their representatives to identify problem areas
  • A commitment to take action to address these problems in partnership with employees and their representatives
  • A commitment to review action plans

Below are the six key aspects of work that, if not properly managed, can lead to work-related stress. They are accompanied by their respective management standards.

The demands of your job

  • Employees indicate that they are able to cope with the demands of
    their jobs
  • Systems are in place locally to respond to any individual concerns.

Your control over your work

  • Employees indicate that they are able to have a say about the way they
    do their work
  • Systems are in place locally to respond to any individual concerns

The support you receive from managers and colleagues

  • Employees indicate that they receive adequate information and support
    from their colleagues and superiors
  • Systems are in place locally to respond to any individual concerns

Your relationships at work

  • Employees indicate that they are not subjected to unacceptable
    behaviours, e.g. bullying at work
  • Systems are in place locally to respond to any individual concerns

Your role in the organisation

  • Employees indicate that they understand their role and responsibilities
  • Systems are in place locally to respond to any individual concerns

Change and how it is managed

  • Employees indicate that the organisation engages them frequently
    when undergoing an organisational change
  • Systems are in place locally to respond to any individual concerns.

Click here for the full set of management standards

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