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News

New pilot project has been launched

HSE InfoLine : 05 May, 2006  (New Product)
Up to 13.4 million days a year are lost due to stress at work and although guidance has been available for almost a decade, the Health and Safety Commission wanted an innovative approach which would provide the tools for bosses and workers to tackle the challenge in their own firms.
Up to 13.4 million days a year are lost due to stress at work and although guidance has been available for almost a decade, the Health and Safety Commission wanted an innovative approach which would provide the tools for bosses and workers to tackle the challenge in their own firms.

Called Management Standards for Stress, the blueprint is being placed on HSE's website to encourage all sizes and all types of companies to have a go. The good news is that any feedback they provide will be incorporated when the system is formally developed for launch next year.

Bill Callaghan, Chair of the Health and Safety Commission, said: 'We know that there is considerable pressure in the modern workplace but there is a difference between the buzz people get from doing a busy and challenging job and an unreasonable pressure which can harm health, lead to absence and put additional strain on their colleagues trying to cope in an even more pressured environment.

'So in developing a new approach it is important to get active participation, agreement and feedback from as many people as possible and that is why we have decided that innovative firms seeking an answer can have a go with this scheme. I hope this encourages all sectors and sizes of business to give it a go and have their say at this crucial time in the development of practical and innovative ways to combat stress at work.'

'Stress is on everyone's lips and business people are becoming aware of just how costly not dealing with this problem can be. Personally I think handing them a tool to help them develop good practice makes sense and the earlier the better. I know this is not going to be easy but grasping this nettle can make for a successful business and a happier workforce.'

The current pilot has been devised with the help of 24 companies - from academic institutions to a supermarket chain - and their positive initial comments have fuelled plans to make it more available to others.

Elizabeth Gyngell, Head of HSE's Better Working Environment Division said: 'I am delighted that such a wide range of companies, including HSE itself, are working with us to develop standards and being so frank in helping us tackle the challenges. I am confident that we will get a much better end product as a result.'
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