Stress is defined as “the negative reaction people have to aspects of their environment as they perceive it”. Work-Related Stress (WRS) is defined as “as stress caused or made worse by work”.
Under the current health and safety law all companies must have an up-to-date health and safety statement and risk assessment in place.
Your company health and safety statement must contain policy on WRS and WRS must also be risk assessed by a competent person. If Health and Safety Authority carries out workplace inspection, they will expect to see stress risk assessment in place and company health and safety statement to contain policy on stress.
The Health and Safety Authority has recently published guide on Work-Related Stress. The guidance document recognises the amount of stress that all of us experience in our day-to-day lives, but sometimes stress can be caused or made worse by work.
The Guide defines stress and work-related stress, goes into causes and effects of WRS, discusses European approach to WRS, role of employer, employee duties, etc. The full version of the Guide can be downloaded HERE.
Below you`ll see a standard WRS Policy that you may consider including into your company health and safety statement:
"Stress is the negative reaction people have to aspects of their environment as they perceive it. Work-relates stress is stress caused or made worse by work.
Stress will be tackled in the company because work-related stress is a serious problem for organisation.
ABC Ltd management will take all necessary steps to ensure so far as reasonably practicable that employees are not exposed to excessive stress levels. Employees must approach their supervisor if suffering from excessive stress levels. Measures will be taken internally to relieve their workload and to identify the origin of the stress.
The following steps will be undertaken by the management in order to prevent stress at source:
All staff should be comfortable with the amount of work they have to do and the hours they are expected to work.
Staff should be involved in deciding what work they do and how they do it.
All staff should be offered adequate managerial support.
All staff should be clear what is expected from them. If in doubt- ask!
All staff should be communicated and consulted before any changes take place.”
How can we help?
Writing safety statements
Preparing risk assessments
Delivering health and safety training