12/13/2002

European social partners committed to solving stress problems at work

As part of a Europe-wide campaign to tackle work-related stress, the Danish
Presidency of the European Union and the European Agency for Safety and Health
at Work organised a major European conference, Preventing Pychosocial Risks at
Work: European perspectives in Bilbao, Spain, on Monday 25th November 2002.

The conference offered a platform for more than 300 experts, practitioners and
decision makers to exchange know-how and experiences. Leading experts presented
an up-to-date overview of Europe’s psychosocial working environment in the
Euopean Union. The conference set out a ‘stress-busting’ roadmap to tackle
the problem across the European Union. Recommendations included:

- The development of new tools and practices to help organisations, and in
particular small- and medium-sized enterprises, to meet their risk assessment
obligations under the Health and Safety Framework Directive. The tools should
not just be useful for stress but also for bullying, violence and other forms
of harassment.

- The systematic evaluation of existing good practices in order to identify
success factors and facilitate their transfer to other workplaces and sectors.

- The setting up of an active network of researchers, legislators, social
partners and working environment professionals to share information and develop
effective ‘stress-busting’ strategies.

- Policy development needs to be based on an effective occupational safety and
health monitoring system, based on national experience with quantitative as
well as qualitative data.

- Learning about psychosocial risks should be an integrated part of the training
for managers and occupational health and safety professionals.

- The momentum of the European Week should continue to be translated into
concrete actions, which are essential for prevention. The success of the
European Week in raising awareness of well-being at work and psychosocial risk
should be followed by further initiatives by the public authorities and social
partners at national level, as well as at company level.

AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work