HSC consults on its proposals to reduce work-related stress

The
Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has launched an innovative three-month
consultation campaign asking managers and employers for their views on
proposals to reduce work-related stress.

The
proposals are based around a set of management standards, which will enable
employers to gauge stress levels, identify causes and work with employees to
resolve any difficulties.

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

Work-related
stress has overtaken musculoskeletal disorders as the biggest cause of working
days lost through injury or ill-health. It accounts for more than 13 million
days lost in UK industry a year, according to Health and Safety Executive
figures.

Bill
Callaghan, chairman of the HSC, 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."

"The
good news is that the core of any solution lies in good management, and in
employers working together with staff and their representatives to develop
solutions that work in practice," he added.

By Mike Berry

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