HSE consults commuters over work-related stress

Stress
policy experts were at Liverpool Street railway station in London this morning
to lobby thousands of rush hour commuters for their views on work-related
stress.

Officials
from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) were there to encourage people to
take part in the HSE’s innovative consultation and to give away 10,000 CD-Roms
as commuters moved through the concourse.

The
CD-Roms include a video which outlines what the consultation is about and
provides a fast link to the HSE website where people can offer their
views.  Respondents have one month to
give their opinions.

More
than 13 million days a year are lost to work-related stress, costing society
about £3.7bn a year. In 2001-02, in excess of half a million people in the UK
experienced stress at levels that made them ill, according to the HSE.

The
consultation highlights a set of management standards designed to enable
employers to gauge stress levels, identify causes and work with employees to
resolve any issues.

The
standards are not new regulations, but are a non-legislative yardstick to help
organisations meet their existing duty of care and their duty to assess the
risks of work-related stress.

Chair
of the Health & Safety Commission Bill Callaghan said: "We’re not
about eliminating all stress or pressure in the workplace. Rather we want to
help employers recognise and manage the risks sensibly.

www.hse.gov.uk/stress/issues.htm

By Michael Millar

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