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News Item: April is Stress Awareness Month – Learn with HSE

Make Stress Awareness Month the month you make it routine to prevent stress and support mental health at work,  and encourage others in the equipment hire sector too.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is inviting employers and managers to complete the five steps of their Working Minds campaign over the course of the month, whether that’s learning how, or actually getting stuck in.

Five steps in five weeks

  1. Reach out and have conversations
  2. Recognise the signs and causes of stress
  3. Respond to any risks identified by agreeing action points
  4. Reflect on the actions taken – have things improved?
  5. Make it Routine to check back in on how things are going
  6. Join them

    • Plan it into the diary
    • Tell your colleagues and teams
    • Register for bitesize learning for step-by-step advice, tools and templates
    • Download the campaign materials to share with others
    • Getting started

      The most important step is getting started, taking the first step to start the conversation or get prepared to.  

      You can have conversations individually or in groups or teams, the key thing is to recognise any common stressors or issues being raised. You might also gather information such as sickness absence records and staff survey results if you have them.

      There are six main areas that can lead to work-related stress if they are not managed properly:  

      • Demands 
      • Control 
      • Support 
      • Relationships 
      • Role 
      • Change
      • If you’re finding it difficult to know where to start, see the Talking Toolkit for a step-by-step approach of what to ask and some ideas of what to do next. 

        The signs of stress…

        More reports of stress would indicate that issues may be bubbling where you work, but there are other less obvious things to consider that can mean that workers are showing signs of stress.

        A change in the way someone acts can also be a sign, for example taking more time off, arriving for work later, loss of motivation or confidence, or seeming more nervous or emotional. Across the team, this can also look like:  

        • Arguments   
        • Higher staff turnover   
        • More sickness absence   
        • Decreased performance   
        • More complaints and grievances 
        • Although employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work, diagnosing and treating stress isn’t your responsibility. Your responsibility is to identify the risks of stress and act on them.  

          You can use HSE’s risk assessment template to record what you’ve found and agreed to do to prevent, reduce or tackle issues.

          Other helpful resources

          • Download the one-page round up of support and resources PDF available to support employers and workers to prevent stress and support good mental health at work
          • Read the blog, Taking an organisational approach to risk assessment, which can tackle the root cause of issues and help the whole team
          • Source: HSE

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