A new campaign has been launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to help businesses recognise the signs of work-related stress and make tackling issues routine.
‘Working Minds’ was launched by the HSE at its Health and Work Conference earlier this week.
HSE’s chief executive Sarah Albon said: “Work-related stress and poor mental health should be treated with the same significance as risks of poor physical health and injury. In terms of the affect it has on workers, significant and long-term stress can limit performance and impact personal lives.
“No worker should suffer in silence and if we don’t act now to improve workers’ mental health, this could evolve into a health and safety crisis.
“The pandemic has highlighted the need to protect the health of employees who have faced unprecedented challenges; the government is committed to building back better and we want to make sure good mental health is central to this.”
HSE is reminding business that no matter where people work, employers have a legal duty to assess the risks in the workplace, not just in terms of potential hazards and physical safety. They should also promote good working practices. It says this promotes an open environment where employees can share their concerns and discuss options to ease pressures.
Sarah added: “Our campaign is focused on giving employers a clear reminder of their duties while championing reducing work-related stress and promoting good mental health at work.”
The regulator has partnered with a number of organisations to highlight the triggers of stress, the legal duty of employers and how to manage the risks. The network of Working Minds champions includes the charity Mind, which supports and empowers anyone experiencing a mental health problem in England.
Working Minds is aimed specifically at supporting small businesses by providing employers and workers with easy to implement advice, including simple steps in its ‘5 R’s’ to Reach out, Recognise, Respond, Reflect, and make it Routine.
Employers and workers wanting to know more about the Working Minds campaign, including the legal obligations, advice, and tools available, should visit: workright.campaign.gov.uk/campaigns/workingminds.