Practical ways to assess the risk of stress

Employers who disregard warnings about the dangers of stress, soon start to
wince when people go missing, explained Granville Crane, Consultant in
Occupational Medicine, Sherman Health Services.

Speaking during the run-up to the European Week for Safety and Health at
work, which this year is concentrating on psychosocial risks and stress at
work, Granville outlined the practical ways in which OH can begin to combat the
problems of stress within the workplace, despite the sometime unhelpful
attitude of management.

Describing one employer’s reaction to the idea of stress-related illness as
‘the skiver’s charter’, he explained that the key role of the OH department is
to "get the message across and persuade line managers to manage
properly".

But he warned delegates: "You must secure board agreement for your
plans, because unless you can do this, a stress policy will not be really
feasible." He also advised OH practitioners to encourage managers to ask
staff about their stresses, instead of viewing them as an ‘OH issue’.

"I believe passionately that we should all take every step we can to
avoid causing our fellow workers stress," he said.

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