Claims for stress still rising

risk assessment should be the cornerstone of any stress-at-work policy

has been a huge rise in the number of claims for stress, said chartered health
psychologist, Dr Claire Welsh, in a paper on stress-at-work policies.

suggests that one fifth of the British population is highly stressed at work,
and the HSE estimates that 6.5 million working days are lost each year due to
stress-related illness, despite a growing awareness by employers of the
importance of tackling the problem.

her examination of why current stress policies are not working, Welsh found
that there is much more to stress management than merely putting stress
counselling in place, as then it is often a case of "picking up the

advocated an integrated policy, tailored to the business needs of the
organisation, that wins the key stakeholders in the organisation over to the

should adopt a partnership approach with other professionals in the
implementation of the stress policy, develop clear objectives and ensure the
policy complies with latest legislation.

says a stress-at-work policy should be well communicated to integrate it
efficiently into the business, and monitored regularly to ensure that any
necessary amendments are made.

was vitally important to put risk assessment at the cornerstone of any policy,
said Welsh, as it is only when we look at the causes of stress that it can be

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