Work Related Stress

Things are changing!

Over the last few years mental health and workplace stress has moved to the forefront of people’s minds including the HSE!

Last month Sarah Newton, HSE Board Chair wrote:

“Implementing our strategy of protecting people and places, will require even greater collaboration across sectors and industries.

For example, we can build on the success of our Working Minds campaign, where we realised early on that we couldn’t effectively tackle work-related stress and poor mental health alone. We worked with and listened to experts from MIND, ACAS and Federation of Small Businesses and last month achieved the milestone of 500 champions for our campaign to increase awareness of the risks of work-related stress and encourage businesses to take action”.

You can understand why the HSE are really taking work related stress seriously when the statistics show that:

In 2020/21 work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 50% of all work-related ill health (0.8 million people).

On average, each person suffering from workplace stress, depression or anxiety took around 21.6 days off work.

This means that over 17 million working days are lost to work related stress depression and anxiety.

Here at MBO we have been working closely with companies more and more to manage work related stress and we are now starting to see the HSE really looking at how companies are being proactive with the management of this issue.

Recently one of our clients received a call from the HSE completing a ‘spot check.’ One of the things they asked was how do you manage stress in your workforce? Provided to the inspector was their Stress Risk Assessment, Stress Policy and an example of a toolbox talk that was being completed on site, as implemented by MBO. The HSE were happy and gave the client fantastic feedback as to what they had in place.

The next steps for this client to continue their crusade against workplace stress, is to train members of their team to be mental health first aiders, to have available resources on site such as leaflets and posters to signpost people to effective support and start an employee forum where concerns could be raised in a confidential way and proactive steps can be taken to rectify any issues.

If you would like support and guidance on how to manage and implement control measures for work related stress, please do not hesitate to get in contact with MBO.