develop solutions to workplace stress problems has been launched
minister for work, Des Browne, said: 'Over half a million people in
the UK are currently experiencing work-related stress at a level they
believe is making them ill. The government is committed to working
with business to tackle the problem, which currently costs our
society about £3.7bn every year.
'The government's approach is based on encouraging supportive
organisational cultures where employers work with staff and their
representatives to identify and address real employee concerns in a
positive way. I am delighted that HSE has developed this practical
tool which encourages people to get on with the serious business of
facing up to addressing this widespread issue. I would encourage
people to look at this as it does offer positive benefits for the
individual, the business and Britain.'
The guidance, called Real solutions, real people - A managers' guide
to tackling work- related stress, contains examples of clear,
practical measures which provide a starting point for the workforce
to agree how to tackle the findings of a stress risk assessment.
The guidance pack includes an introduction on how to use it, learning
points, prompt cards, and an action plan to record and monitor what
needs to be done.
Also launching the guidance, Bill Callaghan, chair of the Health and
Safety Commission said, 'The Health and Safety Commission wants
workplace health and safety to be a cornerstone of a civilised
society and is committed to ensuring that HSE's work remains relevant
to the changing world and changing economy.
'Real solutions, real people provides a tool to help managers and
staff develop solutions to tackle work-related stress that are
specifically relevant to their organisation. I t then encourages them
to tailor their energy to the particular needs identified by risk
assessment. The launch of this guidance today, and the innovative
stress management standards pilot, already well underway, are fine
examples of how the HSE is seeking to help organisations reduce the
incidence of occupational ill health.'
The Real solutions, real people conference forms part of the HSC's
Priority Programme on Stress. A key element of that programme is the
development of clear, agreed standards of good management practice to
prevent work-related stress. These standards are currently being
piloted by 25 organisations, most of which were at the conference.
The pilot process is now being evaluated, and the management
standards will be revised and developed for further public
consultation by HSE in Spring 2004.
Elizabeth Gyngell, head of HSE's better working environment division
said, 'The Real Solutions, Real People guide will help them to
identify and introduce solutions targeted specifically at the causes
of stress in their individual organisations. The guidance complements
the risk assessment approach outlined in HSE's current guidance for
managers about work-related stress 'Tackling work-related stress - A
managers' guide to improving and maintaining employee health and
Six of the case studies from Real solutions, real people (one for
each of the six stress areas will be available on HSE's website at
here. The publication itself, which includes
instructions on how to use the pack, further guidance on risk
assessment and prompt cards for managers to use in meetings with
their teams, will be available from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury,
Suffolk CO10 2WA, or Tel. 01787 881165, or at this website,
priced £20.00 for an introductory period of six months and then
1. The Hea lth and Safety at Work Act (1974) places a general
duty of care on employers to protect the health and safety of their
employees. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
(1999) also requires employers to carry out a risk assessment
involving the health, safety and welfare of their staff.
2. The Real solutions, real people guide is based on examples of good
practice gathered by HSE's Priority Programme Team, in particular the
findings of a research report funded by HSE and published on 23 July
2003 (Beacons of Excellence in Stress Prevention, RR133- HSE Press
Release ref E142:03).
3. The new guidance will cover each of the stressor areas identified
in HSE's publication 'Tackling work-related stress - A managers'
guide to improving and maintaining employee health and
well-being'(HSG218). These are:
4. HSE's draft Management Standards relate to the six main stressors
outlined above. For information on progress with the Management
Standards pilot, please see HSE's stress pages here.