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Increasing workers wellbeing through management of psychosocial risks at work and workplace health promotion Strasbourg, 15 May 2012 Dr Malgorzata Milczarek.

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Presentation on theme: "Increasing workers wellbeing through management of psychosocial risks at work and workplace health promotion Strasbourg, 15 May 2012 Dr Malgorzata Milczarek."— Presentation transcript:

1 Increasing workers wellbeing through management of psychosocial risks at work and workplace health promotion Strasbourg, 15 May 2012 Dr Malgorzata Milczarek European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

2 EU-OSHA The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work was established in 1996 in Bilbao to help improve working conditions in the European Union EU-OSHA: identifies emerging risks (research) consolidates knowledge (reports) stimulates debate (seminars) collects and disseminates good practice information organises raising-awareness campaigns develops and disseminates practical tools

3 FOCAL POINTS EU Focal Points Candidate & Potential Candidate Countries
EEA/EFTA Focal Points Candidate & Potential Candidate Countries

4 Management of psychosocial risks
Overview Prevalence and consequences of psychosocial risks at work Managing psychosocial risks, risk assessment and mental health promotion EU-OSHA projects and publications related to psychosocial risks (OiRA, HWC 12-15) Case study: Top on Job

5 Management of psychosocial risks
Work-related stress is one of the biggest health and safety challenges that we face in Europe. Stress is the second most reported work-related health problem. EU Labour Force Survey (2007): 28% of workers reported that work negatively affects their mental well-being 14% of workers who reported work-related health problems, experienced stress, depresion, or anxiety as the main problem The number of people suffering from stress-related conditions caused or made worse by work is likely to increase

6 Stress: definition and causes
Management of psychosocial risks Stress: definition and causes People experience stress when they perceive that there is an imbalance between the demands made of them and the resources they have available to cope with those demands. Although the experience of stress is psychological, stress also affects people’s physical health.

7 Management of psychosocial risks
Symptoms of work-related stress Individual: Emotional: irritability, anxiety, sleep problems, depression, hypochondria, alienation, burnout, relationship problems Cognitive: difficulty in concentrating, remembering, learning new things, making decisions Behavioural: abuse of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco Physiological: back problems, weakened immunity, peptic ulcers, heart problems, hypertension.

8 Management of psychosocial risks
Symptoms of work-related stress Organisational: absenteeism, high staff turnover, poor time-keeping, disciplinary problems, harassment, reduced productivity, accidents, errors, and increased costs from compensation or health care.

9 Management of psychosocial risks
European Survey of Enterprises on New & Emerging Risks – Psychosocial Risks (ESENER) ESENER Survey asks managers and workers' representatives about how health and safety risks are managed at their workplace, with a particular focus on the work-related stress, violence and harassment. Computer-assisted telephone interviews (“CATI”) 2 questionnaires 31 countries: 36,000 interviews (2009) 41 national versions of each questionnaire “Enterprises” = both public and private sectors

10 How are psychosocial risks being managed?
Main concerns and causes Level of concern about stress, violence and bullying or harassment; what are the principal risk factors (e.g. time pressure, poor communication, job insecurity, etc.)? Measures taken Ad-hoc or ‘reactive’ measures (e.g. training, change to work organisation, work area redesign, confidential support, changes to working time, conflict resolution) Procedures in place More formal or system based than ‘measures’, e.g. procedures to deal with stress, with violence or with bullying or harassment

11 Level of concern about various health and safety issues
% establishments Violence... (ESENER, 2009)

12 Concern about work-related stress, harassment, or violence (ESENER, 2009)
% establishments Violence... (ESENER, 2009)

13 Prevalence of procedures to deal with work-related stress, harassment, or violence
% establishments, EU27 MM As shown by other surveys, such as the European Working Conditions Survey, psychosocial risks are of greatest concern in the health and social work and education sectors. (ESENER, 2009)

14 Concern about various psychosocial risk factors
% establishments Violence... (ESENER, 2009)

15 Main difficulties in dealing with health and safety and with psychosocial risks
% establishments, EU-27 MM172 & MM301 – Compared with OSH management, psychosocial risks are especially problematic because of the sensitivity of the issue, a lack of awareness and a lack of expertise. (ESENER, 2009)

16 Managing psychosocial risks
Employers have an obligation to manage work-related stress, through the Framework Directive 89/391/EEC. Framework agreement on work-related stress (2004) Framework agreement on harassment and violence at work (2007) increasing the awareness and understanding of employers, workers and their representatives of work-related stress, workplace harassment and violence, providing employers, workers and their representatives at all levels with an action-oriented framework to identify, prevent and manage problems of work-related stress, harassment and violence at work.

17 Managing psychosocial risks
The key to manage psychosocial risks and prevent work-related stress lies with the organisation and management of work. Risk assessment for psychosocial risks involves the same basic principles and processes as for other workplace hazards Including workers and their representatives in the process is crucial to success.

18 Risk Assessment – the 5 steps
Evaluate and prioritise the risk (who may be harmed and how) Decide on preventive actions Take action! Monitor and review the situation Identify the hazards and those at risk Identify the hazards and those at risk Evaluate and prioritise the risks Decide on preventive actions Take action! Monitor and review the situation A hazard can be anything that could cause harm, whether work materials, equipment, work methods or practices A risk is the chance, high or low, that somebody may be harmed by a hazard. Look at everyone, including: Part time workers Shift workers Temporary workers Consider special / vulnerable groups Women (the biggest minority group!) Workers with disabilities Where there may be a problem: What action is already being taken? Is it enough? What more needs to be done? Write down the findings, share the information with workers Review what has been done and check that the situation has not changed Risk Assessment is - the basis for successful safety and health management a systematic examination of all aspects of work that considers: what could cause injury or harm whether the hazards can be eliminated and, if not, what preventive or protective measures need to be in place to control the risks. Risk assessment step by step Risk assessment is a structured approach to prevention When we talk of risk assessment, we mean the full occupational safety and health management process of: Hazard Identification + Risk Assessment Priority setting and implementation Monitoring and review Think about it, do it, and check it! At all time involving the workers! The legal basis General Legislation exists in the Member States to address the issue of WRS – from Directive 89/391 (the “framework directive”). Directive 89/391 (Framework Directive) provides a general structure for risk prevention that includes the protection of workers from psychosocial risks There MAY be specific national legislation relating to these issues in your Member State Law derived from other directives may be relevant (e.g. workplace, pregnant workers) Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989, on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, is sometimes referred to as the “framework directive”. This directive, transposed into law in all Member States, has a number of key requirements. Employers must assess all the risks to workers’ health and safety. In the light of the results obtained from this assessment, employers must take any measures needed to prevent occupational risks. Every employer to ensure the health and safety of workers in every aspect related to the work. Employees are entitled to be consulted by their employer. Workers are entitled to receive adequate and specialised training in matters relating to health and safety. In a situation of serious and immediate danger which cannot be averted workers may stop work and leave their workplace. Employees are also responsible for cooperation on OSH issues and compliance with such measures. Action against WRS should consist of: Aiming to prevent WRS Assessing the risks of WRS Taking action to prevent the harm Having systems in place to deal with occurrences of WRS related issues The European directives that relate indirectly to stress in the education sector include: 93/104/EEC concerning certain aspects of the organization of working time 89/654/EEC concerning minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace Relevant European Standards are: EN ISO : Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals. Keyboard requirements EN ISO : Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals. Workstation layout and postural requirements EN ISO : Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals. Requirements for non-keyboard input devices 2004 framework agreement on work-related stress and just recently (April 2007) European employers and trade unions signed a framework agreement on harassment and violence at work which is of particular relevance for the education sector. (See ). General Legislation exists in the Member States to address the issue of WRS – from Directive 89/391 (the “framework directive”) There MAY be specific national legislation relating to these issues in your State Law derived from other directives may be relevant (e.g. working time) Framework agreement on work-related stress Each workplace is different. Work practices and solutions to problems must be matched to particular situations. By taking appropriate action, workers can be kept safe. Employers are legally obliged to carry out regular Risk Assessments in the workplace. Consult the workers – both on the hazards and risks and on the proposed solutions

19 Managing psychosocial risks
Control: Low participation in decision making, lack of control over work methods Organisational culture & function: Poor communication, lack of definition of, organisational objectives Interpersonal relationships at work: conflicts, lack of social support Role in the organisation: role ambiguity, role conflict Career development: career stagnation and uncertainty, job insecurity Home-work interface: conflicting demands of work and home

20 Managing psychosocial risks
Job content: lack of variety, under use of skills, dealing with difficult clients, patients, students Workload & work pace: work overload or under load, machine pacing, time pressure Work schedule: shift working, night shifts, inflexible work schedules, unpredictable hours, long or unsociable hours Environment & equipment: inadequate equipment availability, suitability or maintenance, lack of space, poor lighting, excessive noise Organisational and individual symptoms of stress

21 Managing psychosocial risks
OiRA (Online interactive Risk Assessment) Psychosocial modul The OiRA psychosocial module will be addressed to the partners/intermediaries developing sectoral OiRA tools Simple, concrete, practical tool for SME Risk assessment and examples of practical solutions

22 Workplace Health Promotion
Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) is the combined efforts of employers, employees, and society to improve the health and wellbeing of people at work* WHP supports and does not replace workplace risk management Employers are not responsible for worker’s lifestyle decisions, but can encourage healthy behaviours Workers can not be forced to change behaviours, but can be encouraged and supported to make healthy choices Workers’ participation throughout the process is essential Comprehensive interventions dealing with both organisational and individual level factors are required *ENWHP, Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion in the EU, 2007

23 Workplace Health Promotion
Project on mental health promotion Part of the EU-OSHA long-term project on workplace health promotion ( ) raising awareness and providing information materials for employers, workers and their representatives An expert group consisting of EU Member States’ experts, representatives from the Commission, WHO, ILO and the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion (ENWHP) was established Products EU link collection E-Facts (Mental health promotion, Tobacco: health effects and creating a smoke-free working environment, Work-life balance) Reports (Mental health promotion in the workplace – A good practice report (2011)) Cartoons

24 Case study – prevention of alcohol and drugs
“TOP ON JOB!” Introduction Alcohol abuse and other addictions –not openly discussed Before addiction occur Aims: to prevent addiction in a company Developing competences among young workers in alcohol and drug consumption Personality building (e.g. health awareness, communication skills, conflict handling, sense of responsibility) Implementation in the enterprises: “Peer-education” Tutor training: Fri-Sat, 4 modules, 60hr + courses on coaching and project monitoring. Aims: knowledge on alcohol addiction and prevention, enhancing self-awareness and social skills Contact point – advice and support Supportive networks inside and outside of the company Results Tutors – competent coaches, more responsible use of alcohol Organisations involved: MAN Diesel SE, BS Miehle, BKK L Bayern. More information: “case studies” Germany,

25 EU-OSHA European Campaigns
Raising-awareness Campaign 2014 – 2015 “Practical solutions for psychosocial risks” Work-related stress, violence, and harassment at work can be successfully managed Promoting tools and methods that have been developed over the last decade to manage work-related stress, violence and harassment Disseminating good practice examples (at both national & EU level), including tools for workers’ representatives and line managers

26 EU-OSHA resources SEP Stress SEP WHP
SEP WHP Factsheets (e.g. Work-related stress; Practical advice for workers on tackling work-related stress and its causes; Prevention of violence to staff in the education sector) E-facts 31 (e.g. Managing psychosocial risks with cleaning workers; Prevention of work-related stress in the education sector) Reports (e.g. How to Tackle Psychosocial Issues and Reduce Work-related Stress; Psychosocial risk management; Drivers and barriers for psychosocial risk management) ESENER: mapping tool (www.esener.eu), printed publications

27 Thank you for your attention!
EU-OSHA: Malgorzata Milczarek:


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