30 January 2017

Last year, 7 in 10 respondents to a TUC survey of more than 1000 health and safety representatives identified stress as the top concern in their workplace.

In this context, the TUC has joined with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to publish a new guide intended to help trade union health and safety representatives tackle this major problem.

Available at http://bit.ly/2k2sATn, "Tackling workplace stress using the HSE Stress Management Standards" identifies six key causes of work-related stress. These are:

  • demand (including workload)

  • control (how much say someone has over the way in which they work)

  • support (available from line management and colleagues)

  • relationships (dealing with unacceptable behaviour and promoting positive working)

  • role (do people understand their role at work?)

  • change (how organisational change — large or small — is communicated).

The handbook proposes that a group of representatives from across every level of the organisation should gather information on the current situation in the workplace and carry out a risk assessment based on the HSE standards.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: "Workers are increasingly suffering from the effects of workplace stress as pressures of long hours and low job security are taking hold across the UK. But it’s in no-one’s interest to have an overstretched workforce, as anxious staff are less productive and are more likely to take time off. And the HSE standards provide the best way of tackling the issue."