Time to tackle stress
22 April 2014
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has launched a two-year Europe-wide campaign: ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress’.
A pan-European opinion poll by EU-OSHA revealed that 51% of workers find work-related stress to be common in their workplace and 4 in 10 workers think that stress is not handled well in their organisation.
EU-OSHA believes that, together, employers and workers can successfully manage and prevent work-related stress and psychosocial risks; the Healthy Workplaces Campaign aims to help companies do just that.
The forthcoming EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at work 2014-20 will underline that better protection of workers' mental health is a key factor to prevent work-related diseases. The Framework will propose a range of actions, such as sharing good practices, for promoting mental health at work.
Dr Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA, spoke about the aims of the campaign: "Despite the increasing presence and costs of workplace stress, there is still significant misunderstanding and sensitivity around it – EU-OSHA’s ESENER survey found that over 40% of employers consider psychosocial risks more difficult to manage than ‘traditional’ occupational safety and health risks. With this campaign, we want to raise awareness of the problem and provide support to manage psychosocial risks. Work-related stress is an organisational issue and should be tackled as such by employers and workers working together.’
The Healthy Workplaces Campaign seeks to show how psychosocial risks can be handled in the same systematic way as any other occupational safety and health risk. It aims to promote the use of simple tools which can help organisations to effectively manage these risks and highlight the positive effects of doing so.
The campaign invites all organisations and individuals at local, national and European levels to take part. It will be coordinated at national level by EU-OSHA’s national focal points in more than 30 European countries, and supported by official campaign partners – pan-European and multinational organisations and the campaign media partners. The Healthy Workplaces Campaign is also backed by the EU Council Presidencies, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European social partners.
‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress’ will run for two years and will involve hundreds of organisations from across Europe, involving a range of activities such as training sessions, conferences and workshops, poster, film and photo competitions, quizzes, suggestion schemes, advertising campaigns and press conferences. A key activity in the campaign calendar is the European Good Practice Awards. Applications are encouraged from all European organisations who are successfully implementing measures to reduce and eliminate stress.