22/10/2007

Results of the most recent Psychosocial Working Conditions survey in Great Britain

The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a report covering
data from an annual series of surveys on psychosocial working conditions which
began in 2004. These surveys were set up to monitor changes in the psychosocial
working conditions of Demand, Control, Managerial Support, Peer Support, Role,
Relationships and Change in British workplaces. These are the working
conditions which HSE is aiming to improve amongst British workers by means of
employers implementing its Management Standards approach to tackling
work-related stress, launched in November 2004. Although HSE has been actively
promoting the use of the Management Standards since this launch, a sustained
period of encouragement towards uptake began in mid 2006 and focused on target
industries with the highest rates of work stress-related ill-health and
absence. These target groups, defined using the Standard Industrial
Classification (SIC) system, are Financial Intermediation (SIC Section J);
Public Administration & Defence (SIC Section L); Education (SIC Section M); and
Health & Social work (SIC Section N).

Results

The survey results from 2004 to 2007 indicate no significant changes across the
board in psychosocial working conditions. However, there is a suggestion that
in the past 12 months, during which HSE has divested substantial resource into
promoting the use of the Management Standards, working conditions are beginning
to improve. The only statistically significant increase between 2006 and 2007
was in Role, but with the exception of Relationships each scale increased
non-significantly. Survey results indicate a significant fall between 2004 and
2007 in the proportion of British employees reporting their jobs as very or
extremely stressful, despite a non-significant increase over the last 12
months. Overall results indicated no significant change between 2004 and 2007
in the proportion of employees who reported initiatives on stress at work, or
in the proportion who reported discussing stress with their line manager in the
previous 12 months. In both cases around a third of employees reported these.

Conclusions

Psychosocial working conditions for British employees have not generally
significantly changed between 2004 and 2007. However, there is some suggestion
of an improvement beginning to happen. In particular there was a significant
improvement in Role scores between 2006 and 2007. Further, as stated in the
corresponding report last year, the main effects of the Management Standards
for work-related stress should not be expected to emerge until 2007-2008.
Results from this year's survey are consistent with this view as we are
beginning to see improvements but at this stage these remain non-significant.
It is predicted that the continuing promotion of the Management Standards
should result in significantly improved psychosocial working conditions by
2008. Both job stressfulness and stress-related ill health (which is measured
elsewhere in HSE, 2007) are already showing signs of a decreasing trend and it
is expected that improvements in working conditions will contribute to a
sharper downturn in these measures. However it is unlikely that the fall in
these measures seen to date is directly related to the Management Standards.
Continued collection and analyses of data on these underlying trends among
British employees will in combination with other evidence enable better
understanding of the possible effects of HSE's Management Standards in Britain.

Further info


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