The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) could be building up to take legal action against an organisation for failing to manage work-related stress, according to a UK government advisor on mental health and wellbeing.

Speaking at the Health and Safety Lawyers Association annual conference, Dr Paul Litchfield, chair of the UK’s What Works Centre for Wellbeing, said that HSE inspectors were being given training in the stress management standards and how to enforce them. He said: “That would suggest to me that the HSE is gearing up for a potential prosecution.”

He went on: “What that might look like is difficult to say. It might be a single incident that is particularly high profile or, more likely an incident involving a group of people who are all suffering from mental health problems and there is a line of sight to corporate responsibility for that harm.”

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