CPD activities for understanding stress and psychosocial risk in oil and gas


These extra CPD activities relate to ‘CPD: managing stress and psychosocial risk within oil and gas’, Neelum Sanderson’s and Professor Anne Harriss’ case study analysis of managing these factors within the oil and gas industry.

The article assesses the important leadership and support role that occupational health can play in managing stress and psychosocial risk in an industry where often the focus is more on physical rather than mental risk.

Sanderson and Professor Harriss argue that stressors have the potential to occur in all organisations; how these are managed is crucial. A culture of management support is essential.

Obtaining information from surveys, the Health and Safety Executive’s stress management standards or any other source is the first step to effective action, they highlight.

Preparing the organisation is the first step to managing stress requiring commitment, particularly from senior managers to tackling the issue and committing adequate resources including staff time.

As they argue: “If the culture and commitment is lacking, then actions such as line manager training will not progress. There could be many challenges to overcome meanwhile, employees will become frustrated with a lack of action when they have taken time to provide feedback perhaps through online surveys or membership of focus groups.”

Sanderson and Harriss conclude: “As with any action including new training initiatives, organisations will look to see if any change has occurred and the challenge for OH departments now is to provide evidence as to whether their actions have had the desired effect. This organisation, for example, is now considering which data and metrics can be used to demonstrate value to the organisation.”

To get the most from this CPD, and to understand these challenges and solutions more deeply, read and engage with the original full article before attempting these further CPD activities.

CPD activity one – revisit the Health and Safety Executive’s Stress Management Standards and associated HSE resources

The HSE website has a number of useful links relating to workplace stress. This link provides an overview of the HSE information regarding the HSE stress standards: https://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/

The document A guide for employers on making the Management Standards work also explains how to tackle work-related stress. It is available on this link: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg430.pdf

CPD activity two – access these resources produced by the TUC and MIND

The TUC provides valuable guidance on stress for union representatives on its website, available at: https://www.tuc.org.uk/union-reps/health-safety-and-well-being/stress

This TUC resource explains how to use the HSE management standards: Tackling workplace stress using the HSE Stress Management Standards https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/tacking-workplace-stress-guide.pdf

The mental health charity Mind has incorporated a range of resources on its website. This link provides resources relating to an awareness of stress and work. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/workplace-mental-health/work-and-stress/

CPD activity three – additional reading

CPD activity four – TED talks

These TED talks explore a range of topics including work stress and how to reduce it; and what makes people feel good about work.

Anne Harriss

About Anne Harriss

Professor Anne Harriss MSc, BEd, RGN, OHNC, RSCPHN, CMIOSH, NTFHEA, PFHEA, FRCN is emeritus professor of occupational health
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