The Health and Work strategy was launched in December 2016 with the aim to tackle stress in the health and education sectors. The focus of this strategy was not solely on stress, but included musculoskeletal disorders which along with stress account for 80% of working time lost. Occupational lung disease was a third focus.
The Health and Work strategy is aligned to the Helping Great Britain Work Well strategy, but is a separate entity. Following the December launch, an informal consultation period was to involve ‘conversations’ with stakeholders.
Fast forward to March 2017, and the HSE held its first ‘Stress Summit’ on March 16th, where it said it was ‘back in the game’ with plans to tackle work related stress after years of little action.
The HSE is working with public sector organisations to produce new guidance on the stress management standards, highlight employers’ legal responsibilities and develop tools to support SMEs.
The minister for disabled people, health and work, Penny Mordaunt, spoke at the stress summit stating that it was part of a wider plan to “tackle mental health issues at work, by raising the profile and awareness of work related stress as a key health issue.”
In statistics released in 2015/16, it was suggested that 45% of days lost to ill health are linked to stress, and that stress is more prevalent in the public service sector – hence the focus on this sector in the Health and Work strategy.
Work related stress can impact productivity, competitiveness and profitability and managing stress risk factors strengthens your business and protects your workforce.
- Is your workplace safe?
- Are your work practices current and appropriate?
- Do your staff comply with current procedures and working practices?
If you don’t know the answer to those questions, then a health and safety audit is your next step.
Contact us to discuss your requirements.