Work related stress is now cited as a major health and safety factor.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as "the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them". While pressure is part and parcel of all work activity and helps to keep workers motivated, excessive pressure can lead to stress which undermines performance and can cause illness.
The University's Staff Survey 2003 identified stress as being a being a serious concern for a significant number of staff in a wide range of groups within the University. Following receipt of this survey report the University has implemented a range of measures designed to manage workplace stress. Guidance documents which include details of these measures have been produced and published jointly by Human Resources and the Occupational Health Service. These documents are also available on the Human Resources webpages.
Action by staff
Staff who experience any of the physical symptoms related to stress should take prompt action. Guidance for staff on this matter is provided in a leaflet entitled, 'A Guide to Stress Recognition and Reduction'. This document is available on the Human Resources webpages at the above address.
Action by managers
Work related stress is a workplace hazard and must therefore be risk assessed and controlled like any other workplace hazard. Guidance for managers on this matter is provided in a leaflet entitled 'Managers Guide to Monitoring Stress'. This document provides information to managers on the causes of stress in the workplace and possible steps that can be taken to avoid stress in the workplace. This document is available on the Human Resources webpages.