EU-OSHA launches free e-guide on managing stress and psychosocial risks at work

Tips and tools to manage stress and psychosocial risks in your workplace. Picture: EU-OSHA

As part of the Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress campaign, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) launched its e-guide on managing stress and psychosocial risks. Stress is an important occupational safety and health (OSH) concern in about 80% of European businesses and is one of the main reasons for lost working days in Europe. However, less than a third of European establishments have procedures in place to deal with work-related stress. The e-guide is a practical tool to help both employers and workers, particularly of small businesses, better understand and manage stress and psychosocial risks.

The e-guide is now available in several national versions. In total, 34 country-specific versions will be published and each is adapted to the legislation, context and language of its nation. Each one also directs users to relevant national resources on stress and psychosocial risks. The e-guide is aimed, in particular, at tackling the needs of employers and workers of small enterprises.

Dr Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA, said: ‘Although we cannot see or measure stress in the same way as many other health problems, it is a very serious issue. It can affect workers both emotionally and physically, but businesses and the economy in general can also suffer at the hands of stress. Just like dealing with other OSH issues, tackling stress and psychosocial risks is both possible and worthwhile, and the launch of our e-guide puts a practical tool into the hands of employers and workers. It includes explanations, advice and examples, demonstrating that these issues can be managed in the same practical and systematic way as any other OSH issue’.

Each version of the e-guide contains:
• simple explanations of risks, their causes and consequences for workers and businesses
• advice and instructions on how to spot problems early and take action
• practical examples of prevention and risk management, particularly for small businesses
• information on national resources

Created to improve understanding and raise awareness of stress and psychosocial risks at work throughout Europe, the e-guide also helps to overcome certain misconceptions that exist about stress, separating fact from myth. It is particularly intended for those in small enterprises who need guidance or advice on the first steps to take to tackle stress and psychosocial risks in the workplace.

The e-guide is free of charge and each version is available to browse online or can be downloaded for offline use.