HSENI are encouraging employers to participate in work-related stress advice webinars through its Mental Well-being at Work Advisory Service.
Work-related stress is a significant issue that faces many employers and employees. An estimated 16,000 people in Northern Ireland suffered from stress, anxiety or depression caused or made worse by work in 2018/19. Many more working days are lost through associated staff absences.
During recent years, HSENI has pro-actively reached out to employers to raise awareness of the scale of the problem of work-related stress and to provide a resource for employers through its Mental Well-being at Work Advisory Service. Recent months have seen a unique set of challenging circumstances unfold for employers and employees alike. During this time the advisory service has been developing material to help businesses and their staff better deal with many of the work-related stressors that seem all too common.
The Mental Well-being at Work Advisory Service has adapted its suite of workshops to be delivered by way of webinar using online video conferencing facilities. These webinars are free to attend and focus on the principles outlined within the Health and Safety Executive’s Management Standards, an assessment based approach to managing work-related stress. Sessions include implementation of the Management Standards at an organisational level and a more tailored session for line managers.
Kyle Carrick, Principal Inspector of HSENI’s Occupational Health and Hygiene Group said: “During recent months we have been unable to deliver our workshops in the normal way. We are now in a position to deliver these important sessions online and it’s an exciting time for our Mental Well-being at Work Advisors who I know are looking forward to mentoring and supporting Northern Ireland employers.
“The recent COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a very different work environment for many. Now more than ever, an assessment-based approach to managing work-related stress is important. These webinars will enable employers to apply such an approach by using the HSE Management Standards.”
The free to attend webinars are due to commence in September. Employers or line managers wishing to attend should register at https://www.hseni.gov.uk/articles/health-and-safety-events
As a further aid to employers the Mental Well-being at Work Advisory Service has recently produced a Northern Ireland version of the Talking Toolkit which provides a framework for line managers to begin conversations with their staff about the six key work areas where work-related stress is most likely to occur at work, namely Demands, Control, Support, Relationships, Role and Change. The Talking Toolkit can be accessed at www.hseni.gov.uk/publications/talking-toolkit-preventing-work-related-stress
An information leaflet considering mental well-being at work, while working at home, has also been developed and is available at www.hseni.gov.uk/publications/mental-well-being-work-working-home
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