Another successful European Week for Safety and Health at work has come and gone. The week of 19-23 October saw activities take place across Europe to continue raising awareness of psychosocial risks and stress at work. Many events were dedicated to wrapping up two-year national campaigns but there were also workshops, conferences, film screenings, social media campaigns, as well as lots of activities focusing on psychosocial risks in particular areas such as education and in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA, marked the European Week by opening a conference in Denmark on the impact of good psychosocial management on job satisfaction and productivity. The conference focused on research into the relationship between mental health and safety and productivity at work. A selection of Danish companies that recently introduced processes to improve psychosocial conditions at work demonstrated how this led to a more efficient workflow and greater satisfaction among customers and employees.
Psychosocial risks in the education sector was in the spotlight at events in Portugal and Romania. The event in Romania brought together school inspectors and teachers to present the latest developments concerning stress management at work in the context of the educational system in South-Eastern Romania. In Portugal discussions focused on the working conditions of teachers and ways to improve well-being at work.
In Austria companies were recognised as examples of best practice in relation to stress prevention and management. Meanwhile, in Cyprus a conference included an award ceremony to honour the winners of the National Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards 2015.
Iceland held a seminar which presented the consequences of stress at work such as work-related injuries and unpleasant work environments, while also discussing various methods to reduce stress; from re-organisation of the work environment, to psychological measures and physical exercise.
Throughout Spain more than 80 events took place to raise awareness of psychosocial risks and offer practical advice and good practices in dealing with issues such as harassment in the workplace. In Barcelona, an interactive workshop on preventing psychosocial risks in SMEs identified the needs and deficiencies present and explained what measures companies should implement to manage risks in the short and medium term.
Events with a more public focus included the Info Point event in Coimbra, Portugal. Held in a shopping mall, visitors were informed about various aspects of stress at work and the role of prevention in overcoming psychosocial risks through a quiz and the Napo film….when stress strikes that was projected at the info point.
Also reaching out to the public were the Central Institute for Labour Protection , national focal point for EU-OSHA’s campaign in Poland, who launched a Facebook campaign to spread information on stress throughout the week. A campaign video was also screened in medical facilities in over a dozen places throughout Poland and a special edition of the Institute’s newsletter was published entirely dedicated to psychosocial risks.
EU-OSHA also produced two new infographics on sexual harassment and third party violence which gives key data, explains the concepts and highlights necessary measures at workplace level to prevent and tackle them.
Even if for many countries the European Week for Safety and Health at Work was a chance to wrap-up campaign activities, there are still more events to come such as the Healthy Workplaces Film Award presented at the DOK festival in Leipzig , Germany from 26 October to 1 November. So don’t forget to check the campaign events page regularly for updates on events and activities that may be happening near you and follow the campaign in Twitter #EUmanagestress!
The Healthy Workplaces Summit 2015 took place on 3 and 4 November in Bilbao, before work gets started on next year’s campaign theme ‘Healthy workplaces for all ages’. And the European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2016 will be back next year in October focusing on this new theme.