Sorting out the psychological risks – European Week 2002

The ‘European Week for Safety and Health at Work’ took place on 14-18
October last year, with the theme of ‘Psychosocial risks, with a special
emphasis on stress’. IOSH played its part in supporting the week, as an
organisation and through its individual members.

IOSH, in conjunction with the Euro Info Centre at Business Link
Leicestershire, organised a half-day seminar at The Grange entitled ‘Stressing
the importance of health and safety’.

The seminar aimed to raise awareness of work-related stress and its
associated health issues and was targeted at local SMEs. It also proved a
useful networking session for the 50 delegates who represented companies within
Leicestershire and neighbouring counties in the East Midlands.

IOSH is Europe’s largest health and safety professional body and employs
more than 70 people. So as part of European Week, it looked for ways to help
staff at The Grange deal with occupational stress.

At the monthly staff development session, Richard Jones, head of technical
affairs at IOSH, gave a talk on stress – what it is, its sources and how it can
be prevented.

He also introduced the ‘Work positive’ benchmarking tool. This uses a staff
questionnaire and focused discussions to identify and assess the key stressors
in an organisation.

Throughout the week, IOSH also arranged for employees to sample some new and
alternative stress-relieving activities. These included the chance to do t’ai
chi, receive aromatherapy and Indian head massages, attend informative talks on
crystal healing and reiki, and acquire general information on reducing stress
and living healthily.

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