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HSE gets tough on Stress Management

Posted April 14th, 2009

Employers are being urged to improve their management of stress at work issues after it emerged that the Health and Safety Executive issued an improvement notice for stress against the Lincolnshire NHS Trust.

This latest improvement notice shows that the HSE will not shy away from taking action when employers fail to meet their stress management obligations under the health & safety laws.

You should always take the health of your staff seriously and stress is often an area that is overlooked as the symptoms are not always physically displayed. Of course, this does not make stress any less important and we have an obligation to ensure that staff who become subject to stress issues are treated with the respect and care they deserve.

Recent statistics confirm that work-related stress is widespread in the UK working population and is not confined to particular sectors or high risk jobs or industries.

An annual absence survey carried out last year by CBI/AXA, found that non work-related stress, anxiety and depression was the most common cause of long-term absence. Government guidelines on how to manage it and a growing pile of evidence on tackling stress have not solved the problem.

Another report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists adds that sickness absences due to mental health problems such as stress are likely to be longer than those caused by physical health problems, accounting for 47% of long-term absence.

It is important that all businesses take the subject of stress management seriously. Ensuring staff are aware of stress issues and how to cope goes some way to ensuring they are better prepared to cope with stressful situations. Add to this a clear policy on stress and a structured method of working and levels of workplace stress can be reduced.

Make your staff aware of Stress Management and methods of coping with stress by delivering the Trainer Bubble training course materials on Stress Management.

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