It’s an EU-wide initiative that aims to equip employers with the resources and tools they need to manage stress and psychosocial risks in the workplace – and Yorkshire employers are playing an active role in promoting it.
The Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress project is an ambitious and timely attempt to support employers across the European Union to enhance employee wellbeing and tackle workplace stress. The website is a great source of inspiration for employers wishing to tackle the risks associated with stress. Launched by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the site is packed with news and ideas for creating healthy workplaces.
As part of the European Week for Safety and Health at Work this month, an event was held at Bradford City Hall to promote Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress, with speakers from Yorkshire Water, the Health & Safety Executive, Mental Health First Aid, Resilient People and MINDFUL EMPLOYER.
Rob Vondy from the Health & Safety Executive shared some shocking facts. In 2012-13 almost half a million people in the UK experienced a mental health difficulty which was mainly caused by, or made worse by, work. Stress continues to contribute to half of all lost working days, with four out of ten employees saying stress risks are badly managed in their workplace.
Rob identified that training for middle management to give them confidence in spotting the signs of stress and effectively supporting their teams is essential. Voluntary measures to promote wellbeing can also make a powerful difference.
This was illustrated by the example given by Yorkshire Water. Its wellbeing policy has helped saved the company close to £1 million in less than two years. It certainly does pay to be positive about mental health.