HSE publishes stress management draft

The
draft stress management standards have been published on the Health and Safety
Executive’s (HSE) website.

The
standards, which are currently being piloted by a group of 24 public and private
sector organisations, are designed to help employers manage stress in the
workplace.

They
are based on the HSE’s seven causes of stress, which are identified in its
guide Tackling Work-Related Stress, and cover areas such as workloads, working
hours and the support staff receive at work.

The
six-month pilot scheme will be followed by the publication of a discussion
document, expected in January next year, and a formal consultation period
before the first standards are introduced later in 2004.

It
is likely that companies that continue to breach the stress management
standards will face prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act, which
places a duty on employers to look after the mental health of their staff.

www.hse.gov.uk

By Ben Willmott

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