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HSE Launches Free Workplace Stress Measurement Tool

HSE Launches Free Workplace Stress Measurement Tool
03 March 2022

The Health and Safety Executive’s new Stress Indicator Tool 2.0 allows employees to anonymously report work-related stress.

Employers can therefore use this data to prevent and manage employee stress in their organisation. It can also be used as part of the risk assessment element of HSE's Management Standards approach.

2020/21 figures suggest that 1.7 million working people are suffering from a work-related illness in the UK, with 822,000 workers experiencing work-related stress, depression or anxiety.

It is hoped that the anonymous online survey and related systematic approach will remove the barriers of not being able to do something about this growing issue.


Investing in Mental Health Interventions in the Workplace


Research by Deloitte in 2021 makes a positive case for employers investing in mental health, with an average return of £5 for every £1 spent. It can also help to foster an open and inclusive culture when it comes to health.

In terms of concrete case studies for the tool, Scottish Power Energy Retail recently looked to reduce work-related stress by using the Stress Indicator Tool. Working in partnership with HSE they were able to improve their sickness absences by 11 per cent.


Understanding a Business’ Risk Profile for Work-Related Stress


The tool surveys employees and uses their responses to understand the organisation's risk profile for work-related stress. The questions have been carefully curated by policy experts and are centred around the six key areas of work design that, if not managed properly, are known to be the likely root causes, including: demands, control, relationships and role.

The survey also includes a remote working survey, an additional set of questions that build on the existing 35-items to specifically explore risk for remote and hybrid workers.

There is an optional self-generated identification code (SGIC) which is an anonymised series of letters and numbers created by survey respondents so that year-on-year changes for individuals can be tracked without compromising anonymity.

The self-generated identification code will enable in-depth research into stress risks in ways that have never before been explored. Research so far has revealed that 68 per cent of respondents have been willing to provide a self-generated identification code on their first survey completion.


How Does the Stress Measurement Tool Work?


There are four main stages of using the tool:


  1. Building the survey using the friendly set-up wizard and tailoring the options to suit your organisation.
  2. Once built and you are happy with the question-set, send the survey out to your workforce.
  3. You can then study your results and assess your performance overall against the management standards.
  4. Conducting focus groups using the report is an excellent way to identify improvements and reduce work-related stress.


The Stress Indicator Tool is available for free to pilot for a maximum of 50 employees, with additional paid-for options also on offer. You can register for a webinar to find out more about the Tool and how it could benefit your business.

Picture: a photograph of a person working on a tablet, sitting at a table on a stool. A cup can also be seen and the desk faces large windows. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 03 March 2022


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