Work related stress is at an all-time high. In fact, 15.4 million days a year are lost at work through stress and mental ill-health, equating to £5.2 bn in lost time.
But what is stress?
Stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them. There is a clear distinction between pressure, which can create a ‘buzz’ and be motivating, and stress, which occurs when this pressure becomes excessive.
There is merit in saying a little stress is good for you. However when things become too much, people suffer.
Many businesses don’t see their full stress risk profile. And it’s often too late when it becomes obvious. Productivity drops, staff absences increase, and morale runs at an all-time low: the business suffers.
Stress is multifaceted. Causes range from physical ill health, to the working environment, colleague relationships and organisational culture. Every person will experience a different perception. So how on earth do you manage stress at work?
It’s simple, call our health and safety experts who will help your business identify the major risk factors that can influence stress for your employees. It may be that we support a risk assessment for stress for your business, help write a strategy to manage stress as a whole and review specific jobs.
Don’t forget, you may need to complete a risk assessment for individuals who are more susceptible to stress due to personal traits. For example expectant mothers, younger employees and for those with disabilities.
Don’t fear, our team of experts are on hand to help your business identify and control your major causes of stress.
Give us a call today to release some tension from your business.
Check out our stress eLearning courses. They are simple, effective and a great starting point for any business to understand the drivers of stress at work:
- Stress awareness training
- Mental health awareness training for managers
- Mental health awareness training
What is a workplace stress risk assessment?
Stress risk assessments are all about preventing work-related stress. By law, employers are responsible for the health, safety and welfare of employees at work—and this includes stress. Stress risk assessments reduce stress by recognising hazards, identifying who may be harmed and how, evaluating risk and deciding on control points, recording findings and carrying out regular reviews.
Stress risks aren’t always obvious to spot, which is why the stress risk assessment requires careful consideration from an expert and needs to be made specifically for identifying and controlling stress. The law also requires businesses with five or more employees to keep a physical copy of the assessment either as a completed workplace risk assessment form or as internal notes. Don’t forget to share the findings of the risk assessment and controls with your staff.
How a workplace stress assessment will benefit your business
Stress risk assessments benefit both employees and businesses. The most substantial benefit is that they can help prevent burnout, presenteeism and often long-term mental health issues. These can seriously harm your business, in more ways than you realise.
For example, if your employees are stressed due to overworking, this can lead to deadlines being missed, lower quality of work and more mistakes. What’s more, if your business is customer-facing, these can hurt your reputation too. Stress risk assessments can also help reduce the number of sick days employees take — which is another avoidable cost to businesses.
At The Health & Safety Dept, we can help prevent all of the effects of work-related stress by handling your stress risk assessment. Our experts will help you identify the major risk factors, as well as supporting you with writing a strategy to manage stress long-term, and reviewing specific jobs. Whatever you need, we’re here to help.
Why undertake a stress risk assessment?
By law, employers must manage workplace stress as they would any other health and safety risk. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states that employers must identify, eliminate and reduce risks to employees health, safety and welfare — and work-related stress falls under this.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), stress, depression and anxiety account for 9.9 million days per year lost due to work-related ill-health. In a single year, stress leave leads to an average of 23 days off work. That’s a lot of time and money lost.
There’s no better way to tackle workplace stress and prevent it from becoming a bigger problem than with a stress risk assessment. Let our experts help you in protecting your business and its employees.
Choosing The Health & Safety Dept for your stress risk assessment
We’re a team of experienced health and safety professionals who take the well-being of employees extremely seriously, just as you do . Whether it’s identifying the major stress risk factors for your employees or helping you write a strategy to manage stress long-term, we can help you tackle stress in your workplace. As a result, employees will have a higher job satisfaction, greater mental stability, and they’ll be happier both inside and outside of work. For more information about our services, get in touch.
Stress risk assessment FAQ
Is a stress risk assessment a legal requirement?
Employers have a legal duty to protect employees at work. And therefore, it is a legal requirement to do a risk assessment and act on the findings.
If your business has more than five employees, by law, you must keep a physical copy of the stress risk assessment. Whether it’s a workplace risk assessment form or internal notes, it’s entirely up to you how you do it — but it must be written down. For businesses with fewer than five employees, you do not need to do this. However, we recommend that you do, as it’s easier to review it at a later date.
How is a stress risk assessment carried out?
It starts with each individual being assessed with a questionnaire. As set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the questions cover the Management Standard and look at the six key areas of stress at work. These are control, demands, relationships, support, change and role.
Employees will be monitored and reviewed to identify whether they are at risk. If they are, the findings from the assessment will be actioned to help the individual deal with and overcome work-related stress.
Who should undertake a stress risk assessment?
The employer is responsible for managing risk assessments, and therefore, is also responsible for ensuring the stress risk assessment is carried out. Employers can delegate another person to handle risk assessments on behalf of the business, as long as they are trained and competent to do so.
How can we raise awareness of mental health in the workplace?
Whether it’s holding workplace activities, providing a platform for discussion, introducing exclusive policies, launching employee assistance programmes, or simple things like educating your team about mental health, explaining the concept of stress or leading by example — there are lots of ways to raise awareness for mental health in the workplace.
Of course, not all businesses will be able to do everything we’ve spoken about here, but it’s about looking at your business currently, and addressing what you think is most important with the resources you have available.
How can employers reduce stress in the workplace?
Removing themselves from stressful situations is the best way for employees to reduce workplace stress, although, this is often easier said than done. If employees are unable to remove themselves from stressful situations at work, a great way to reduce stress is to take regular short breaks.
Staff should be encouraged to complete the Stress Awareness eLearning training so that they can recognise their ‘stressors’ and know how to manage them.
Are your employees struggling with stress?
Looking for expert health & Safety support?
We can help you focus on your business by taking care of all your health & safety needs.
Let us know how we can help or ask about our free initial H&S review.
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