European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Managing work-related stress is the focus of this year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work

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This week sees the start of the 2014 European Week for Safety and Health at Work, a highlight of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign. Taking place from 20 to 24 October, hundreds of events will be held across Europe to mark the occasion. Keeping with the current theme – Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress – the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and its community of partners aim to get Europe talking about stress and psychosocial risks in the workplace and how we can tackle them together.

Dr Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA said: ‘This is an issue which can have enormous costs for both the health of employees and of businesses. With work-related stress being the second most frequently reported health problem in Europe and with costs to businesses of mental health disorders estimated at around 240 billion euros per year, this is something that we simply cannot afford to ignore. As is evident from the week’s full programme of events, our network across Europe is doing a good job to make sure employers and employees do take notice.’

Partners of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign − including enterprises, employer and employee representatives, as well as OSH specialists − are coming up with a variety of ways to highlight the campaign messages: there are press conferences scheduled in Belgium and Slovenia, training activities in the UK, a conference in Iceland, and a Healthy Workplaces film screening in Estonia. Events are not only taking place at national level, Europe’s regions are also getting in on the action; Spain for example will see more than 57 events take place across the country as part of its European Week programme.

EU-OSHA is helping its partners in their campaign efforts with the numerous free resources it has made accessible from the campaign website, such as practical tools and the film ‘Napo in … When stress strikes’. EU-OSHA, in collaboration with Eurofound, has also just published a new report ‘Psychosocial risks in Europe - Prevalence and strategies for prevention’. Visit the publications section of the campaign website and read about the experiences of various policies and measures from around Europe.

The push to manage work-related stress and psychosocial risks doesn’t stop with the European Week: November will see the release of an e-guide in all European languages which gives SMEs advice on how to deal with stress in their workplaces. In December EU-OSHA will also announce a new wave of Official Campaign Partners, and in 2015, the winners of the 12th edition of the European Good Practice Awards will be announced.

Visit the campaign website and the check your national coordinators to see the programme of events happening during the 2014 European Week for Safety and Health at Work. Check the page of your national coordinator to find out what is happening in your country.

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