Friday 21 March 2008

Bullying & Stress

I attended UNITE's north-west Health & Safety Reps' conference on Tuesday. It was an impressive event, with about 200 H&S reps in attendance. The regional conferences are a positive initiative, which I hope will be developed further.

The event included a session by the HSE on stress, focusing on the "management standards" they have set out, intended to get employers (with unions) taking a proactive approach to remove the organisational causes of stress, rather than dealing with it as individual weakness. The HSE has published quite a bit of material on their web site. Annoyingly, they aren't making the key publication available online, but charging for copies.

There was a lot of anger at the cuts in funding for the HSE and safety enforcement generally - the government are going along with the CBI view that safety is "red tape", despite the terrible toll of deaths and injuries in our workplaces each year.

Bullying in the workplace is a major contributor to stress, so it's good to see Computer Weekly covering UNITE's survey on bullying in the IT industry.

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