Comments are closed. All good employers should welcome, and be unperturbed by, the news (page 1)that the first management standards on stress will be entering the workplace bythe end of this year. With more than 13.5 million working days lost each year to stress-relatedillness, this latest initiative from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) hasbeen on the cards for sometime. An awareness campaign including mediaadvertising, guidelines and an action line ran throughout 2002, but the wholeissue takes on a fresh impetus this year, with the promise of audits beingadded to routine health and safety inspections. The challenge for HR is toimplement policies that organisations can wholeheartedly embrace. Be warned, though, that the HSE will investigate complaints and unions willbe more vigilant where employers are failing. Clearly, too many organisationsstill pay lip service to prevention. One in five workers report being made illby work-related stress and sickness absence is rife in some sectors. The causes of work-related stress are diverse and complex, but are classicHR territory and are associated with the design, organisation and management ofwork. Plain good management is fundamental to tackling stress. Common triggersinclude working at high speed, uncertainty about job roles, lack of control,high demands and poor management of change. HR is pivotal to integrating stress management policies and occupationalhealth professionals are obvious partners. But the track record of both partiesworking collaboratively is not impressive. Too often there are disparities inmanaging the problem with either side viewing stress from a differentperspective and occasionally pulling in opposite directions. Recognising common business aims is crucial and HR should take the lead inresolving difficulties to ensure any new stress management policies quicklybecome part of the corporate culture. All of us are vulnerable to stress, and addressing the problem in the wayadvised by the HSE is not rocket science – yet many employers are still a longway from even reaching the basic launch pad. By Jane King No need for HR to feel stressed over HSE moveOn 14 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.