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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published free guidance to help small firms tackle work-related stress. ...
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published free guidance to help small firms tackle work-related stress.

It follows the results of an HSE survey, Self-reported Work-related

Illness in 1995, which found that half a million people suffer from

stress-related ill-health which they believe is caused, or made

worse, by work. This makes it the second most commonly reported

work-related condition after musculoskeletal disorders.

It involved employers' organisations, the TUC and leading academics

in producing 'Help on work-related stress - A short guide'. There

is demand from small firms (and others) for clearly set out and

easily accessible advice. The booklet has a user-friendly question

and answer format and has won a Clear English Standard award from the

Plain Language Commission.

Minister Alan Meale, launching the booklet at SAPA

Limited, an aluminium extrusion firm in North Derbyshire, said: 'The

Government is rightly concerned about the level of work-related

stress and is determined to do something about it. But we also

recognise that it is a complex issue and that there are no

'quick-fix' solutions. This booklet is a valuable contribution to

tackling the problem. We will continue to encourage employers to see

that the way work is organised and management attitudes can cause

stress, and that there are measures they can take to deal with the


The booklet lists the main factors that can contribute to

work-related stress and emphasises that plain good management is the

best way to deal with the issue. It outlines employers' legal duties

but also offers practical advice and explains how to conduct a risk


Peter Graham, head of HSE's health directorate, said: 'We hope

that this guidance will help employers in small firms deal with any

difficult situations and pinpoint potential problems. It also shows

that dealing with the issue is all about good management, that it

need not be difficult or costly and that it can save firms money by

making sure their employers are happy, healthy and here.'

Milton, finance director at SAPA Limited, said: 'This guidance is

quick and easy to read and offers sensible, practical advice. It is

based on common sense and good management, so, although it is aimed

mainly at small firms, I would recommend it to all employers.'

copies of Help on work-related stress - A short guide, (ref.

INDG281) are available free and packs of 10, costing£5, are

available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 6FS,

tel: 01787-881165 or fax: 01787-313995.

HSE publications on work-related stress available from HSE

Books include - research and stress management: Putting theory to work

Contract Research Report No 61/1993£25.00

at Work: A Guide for Employers 1995 HS(G)116 ISBN


well-being in the workplace: A resource pack for

management training and development 1998 ISBN 0-7176-1524-3


work-related stress: A guide for managers and teachers

in schools 1998 ISBN 0-7176-1292-9£6.95

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