EU-OSHA launches e-guide on managing stress and psychosocial risks at work

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As part of the Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress campaign, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) today launched its e-guide on managing stress and psychosocial risks. Stress is an important occupational safety and health (OSH) concern in about 80% of European businesses and is one of the main reasons for lost working days in Europe.

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Stress is a concern in about 80% of European businesses and one of the main reasons for lost working days in Europe.

However, less than a third of European establishments have procedures in place to deal with work-related stress. The e-guide is a practical tool to help both employers and workers, particularly of small businesses, better understand and manage stress and psychosocial risks.

The e-guide is now available in several national versions. In total, 34 country-specific versions will be published and each is adapted to the legislation, context and language of its nation. Each one also directs users to relevant national resources on stress and psychosocial risks. The e-guide is aimed, in particular, at tackling the needs of employers and workers of small enterprises.

Dr Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA, said: ‘Although we cannot see or measure stress in the same way as many other health problems, it is a very serious issue. It can affect workers both emotionally and physically, but businesses and the economy in general can also suffer at the hands of stress. Just like dealing with other OSH issues, tackling stress and psychosocial risks is both possible and worthwhile, and the launch of our e-guide puts a practical tool into the hands of employers and workers. It includes explanations, advice and examples, demonstrating that these issues can be managed in the same practical and systematic way as any other OSH issue’.

Each version of the e-guide contains:

  •     simple explanations of risks, their causes and consequences for workers and businesses
  •     advice and instructions on how to spot problems early and take action
  •     practical examples of prevention and risk management, particularly for small businesses
  •     information on national resources

Created to improve understanding and raise awareness of stress and psychosocial risks at work throughout Europe, the e-guide also helps to overcome certain misconceptions that exist about stress, separating fact from myth. It is particularly intended for those in small enterprises who need guidance or advice on the first steps to take to tackle stress and psychosocial risks in the workplace.
The e-guide is free of charge and each version is available to browse online or can be downloaded for offline use.

Watch the video and find the e-guide version that is relevant for you (more national versions to follow)
Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress
Twitter #EUmanagestress

Notes to editors
1. ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress’ is a decentralised campaign open to organisations and individuals at local, national and European levels. It is coordinated at national level by EU-OSHA’s focal points in more than 30 European countries, and supported by official campaign partners – pan-European and multinational organisations – and the campaign media partners.
Throughout 2014 and 2015 EU-OSHA is campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of managing stress and psychosocial risks in the workplace. Although tackling psychosocial risks and work-related stress may seem challenging, this campaign aims to demonstrate that they can be dealt with in the same logical and systematic way as any other occupational safety and health issue. With this in mind, the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2014-15 has the following key objectives:

  •     to raise awareness of the growing problem of work-related stress and psychosocial risks;
  •     to provide and promote the use of simple, practical tools and guidance for managing psychosocial risks and stress in the workplace;
  •     to highlight the positive effects of managing psychosocial risks and stress in the workplace, including the business case.

2. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) contributes to making Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work. The Agency researches, develops, and distributes reliable, balanced, and impartial safety and health information and organises pan-European awareness raising campaigns. Set up by the European Union in 1994 and based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency brings together representatives from the European Commission, Member State governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as leading experts in each of the EU Member States and beyond.

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Birgit Müller
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
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