Headlines: October 14th, 2002

European Week for Safety and Health, launched today, is focusing on stress. The events throughout the UK are aimed at raising awareness of what organisations can do to tackle stress in the workplace, establishing an environment in which to share knowledge and promote best practice. Stress is the second biggest cause of sickness absence days of employees in the UK. It costs UK industry approximately £6.7 billion each year in lost revenue. In human terms, depression, anxiety or a physical condition ascribed to work related stress results in half a million people per year reporting stress at levels that is making them ill.For the past two years, the Health and Safety Commission has been tackling occupational stress as one of its Priority Programmes. Last year the Health and Safety Executive published new guidance aimed at helping managers undertake effective risk assessments to tackle stress in the workplace. They are now working with partners from industry, local authorities and practitioners to help develop Management Standards that will act as a yardstick in measuring how successful employers actually are in dealing with this issue.

The week will see the launch of a new training and resource website http://www.hse.gov.uk/resources  Case studies and best practice working on countering stress can shared at http://www.ohstrategy.net