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News

Practical solutions to tackle stress at work

HSE InfoLine : 23 July, 2003  (Technical Article)
New research reports on stress prevention and rehabilitation are being published today by The Health and Safety Executive, which will help inform the developments of new guidance for managers this Autumn.
'Beacons of excellence in stress prevention' outlines criteria for best practice in stress prevention. These criteria were developed from a literature review of recent research in this area and through expert opinion. The criteria were used to identify organisations that could be considered examples of best practice in various aspects of stress prevention.

'Best practice in rehabilitating employees following absence due to work-related stress' clarifies criteria of current best practice in rehabilitation. The report provides clear and practical steps employers can put in place to encourage employees to return to work and to prevent a recurrence of the initial stress. The case studies in this report cover England, Scotland and Wales, and there is also a section providing specific advice for small and medium sized companies.

The case studies contained within these research reports will be used, in conjunction with other examples of good practice gathered by HSE's Stress Priority Programme Team, to develop guidance to support managers in implementing HSE's Management Standards, by outlining practical solutions to help them tackle stress at work.

Professor Colin Mackay, Principal Psychologist in HSE's Human Factors Unit said, 'These research projects have provided us with some excellent case studies in both stress prevention and rehabilitation of employees following stress-related absence.

'Our feedback from employers dealing with stress is that while they are largely confident that they are able to identify the main sources of stress within their organisations, they find it difficult to know what interventions to put in place to manage them. The new guidance will be a valuable resource for both managers and health and safety professionals.'

Elizabeth Gyngell, Head of HSE's Better Working Environment Division said, 'The Management Standards and supporting information, such as this new guidance, build on HSE guidance available to managers. For example, if managers follow the advice in HSE's 2001 publication 'Tackling work-related stress' then they will be on track to meet the Standards when they are introduced fully next year.'

These research reports will provide further background for a new guidance booklet to be published in the Autumn, to complement current HSE guidance.
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