06/02/2006

Implementing stress management standards - advisory leaflet

Many people still get confused about pressure and stress, yet there's a great
deal of difference between the two. We all experience pressure on a daily
basis, and need it to motivate us and enable us to perform at our best ­ ask
any athlete or actor. However, if we experience too much pressure without the
opportunity to recover, we feel unable to cope and stress is the result.

The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as, 'An adverse
reaction a person has to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed
upon them.' Given an excess of pressure, stress can therefore happen to anyone,
and should not be seen as a weakness. Instead, an individual needs to be helped
to deal with these pressures.

As reactions to stress will vary from one individual to another ­ and may also
vary at different times of our lives ­ it's important that we learn to
recognise stress and understand what to do to reduce it. Tackling personal
stress is an individual's responsibility; however, employers have a
responsibility to help reduce any stress which may arise in their employees as
a result of their work.

Under UK law, employers have a legal duty of care to ensure their employees are
not harmed by work-related stress. They also have a duty to assess the risk
arising from hazards at work, including stress. To help organisations meet
these duties, in November 2004 HSE introduced Management Standards and
guidelines on workrelated stress. A recently published advisory leaflet
prepared by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) outlines the
Management Standards approach and, based on information from discussions with
managers and the analysis of effective case studies in 2004, gives practical
advice on how best to implement the standards.

Further info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive