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first_imgHSE unveils its pilot of draft stress management standardsOn 1 Jun 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article More than 20 public and private sector employers will test the standardsThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has begun a six-month trial of newstress management standards, which are due to be introduced across the countrynext year. Elizabeth Gyngell, the HSE’s head of health strategy, unveiled the draftstandards in April, warning that firms that breached the rules could beprosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Some 20 public and private sector employers have agreed to test thestandards, which are based on seven causes of stress as outlined in the HSE’sguidance, Tackling Work-Related Stress. The seven ‘stressors’ covered are:demands on staff, control, support, relationships, roles, change and culture. Gyngell told Occupational Health’s sister title Personnel Today that to meetthe standards, employers will have to survey their staff to measure how theyfeel they are affected by these seven areas, and then provide feedback. Organisations will be expected to reach certain levels in each area; forinstance, ensuring that under ‘demands’, workloads are manageable and jobsmatched to ability. Firms must also have systems in place that allow them torespond to staff who report feeling stressed. Employers must talk in detail to staff about any issues highlighted by thesurvey and agree action – including, if necessary, changing policies or ways ofmanagement, and then reviewing the effectiveness of the action that is taken. Once the pilot has finished, a discussion document will be published inJanuary, followed by a formal consultation period. The standards are expected to become a key tool in the HSE’s campaign totackle work-related stress. More than half a million people in the UK are estimated to suffer fromwork-related stress, anxiety or depression, according to HSE figures, leadingto the loss of 13.5 million working days. The draft standards were published on the HSE’s website in May, andemployers are being encouraged to provide feedback through the site. www.hse.gov.uklast_img read more