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Do you know… how to manage work-related stress?



One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem at some point. While mental health problems are common, most are mild, tend to be short-term and are normally successfully treated, with medication, by a GP.


Legally, under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers have a duty to ensure all members of staff are looked after and work-related illnesses (e.g. stress) are minimised.


What is stress?


HSE defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’.


A large number of mental health ailments, including stress, are left undiagnosed and untreated due to the symptoms being invisible. However, these invisible symptoms can become visible after a certain amount of time.


These signs include:

  • anxiety

  • headaches

  • tiredness

  • sensitivity

  • sweating

  • skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis)

  • weight loss or weight gain

  • low immunity


Causes of stress at work


There are six main areas that can lead to work-related stress if they are not managed properly. These are demands, control, support, relationships, role and change.


For example, workers may say that they:


  • are not able to cope with the demands of their jobs

  • are unable to control the way they do their work

  • don't receive enough information and support

  • are having trouble with relationships at work, or are being bullied

  • don't fully understand their role and responsibilities

  • are not engaged with when a business is undergoing change


Duties as an employer


As an employer you have a legal duty to assess the risks to your employees health from stress at work.


If you have fewer than five workers you don't have to write anything down, but it is useful to do this, so you can review it later, for example if something changes. If you have five or more workers, you are required by law to write the risk assessment down.


So, what can be done to minimise mental illness in the workplace? The answer is a lot! It is important to remember these three words:


PREVENT

SUPPORT

MAINTAIN


Preventing is the first step of keeping the workplace happy and healthy. To prevent, the employer should create a relationship with their employees to ensure happiness when coming to work without feeling threatened or bullied by their employer. To do this, meetings and one-to-one talks could be held to ensure the employer and employee are constantly aware of each other and how they are feeling. Not only this, staff challenges or activities could be put into place to ensure everyone is staying healthy in the workplace.


Supporting could include encouraging a person to talk if they are struggling with mental health. By creating a relationship with staff, a person is more willing to talk if they are struggling with workload or even personal events. This could also mean keeping in touch if a person is absent from work due to illness, by doing this it keeps the employer in the loop as well as making the person feel like they have help.


Finally, maintaining. It is extremely important that this type of behaviour is constant throughout the whole life of the business as this ensures all staff have a healthy, happy relationship with their employees and their work!


How can Logic assist?

  • We can offer guidance and support to allow companies to meet their legal obligations in this area.

  • We can provide training such as CITB SMSTS, CITB SSSTS and IOSH Managing Safely.


Click here for more information: Stress and mental health at work - HSE

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