HSE issues work-related stress investigation criteria

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new guidance on how it deals with reports of work-related stress.

The HSE said it has redefined its operational guidance to establish a consistent approach to handling complaints of stress at work.

Cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety rose by 13% to 1,800 per 100,000 workers in April 2018 compared to 2016/17. Work-related stress has become the most common work-related illness for the first time, overtaking musculoskeletal disorders.

The number of working days lost to work-related stress, depression and anxiety increased by 23% in 2018, rising from 12.5 million in 2016/17 to 15.4 million 2017/18.

Duncan Spencer, Head of Advice and Practice at IOSH has said the HSE needs to do more, looking at how organisations either prevent emotional hazards or recognise their causes early, so that effective mitigations can be put in place. He added that being preventative means that applications can be found at the coping stage rather than waiting until the struggling stage when existing and more popular controls kick in.

The HSE is urged to start analysing and enforcing on organisations, if they have inadequate preventative measures in place.

The guideline on reporting work-related stress can be found via the HSE.