Preventing work-related stress: the leading cause of illness at work
Charlie Bennett
November 3, 2023

The fish and chip industry faces many challenges, such as rising costs, supply shortages, environmental issues and changing consumer preferences. These factors can create a lot of stress for business owners and staff, which can affect your health and wellbeing, as well as performance and productivity.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which regulates workplace safety in the UK, has marked the National Stress Awareness Day this week on 1st November, to raise awareness of the impact of stress on workers’ lives and to provide guidance and support for employers to prevent and manage stress at work.

According to the HSE, 914,000 workers were suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22, the cause of 17 million working days lost in this period. Employers have a legal duty to ensure risks of stress and mental ill health are factored into health and safety risk assessments and acted upon.

The HSE has developed a set of resources and tools to help employers and workers deal with stress at work, including:

  • Information about how to conduct a stress risk assessment, which involves identifying the sources of stress, assessing who might be harmed and how, and taking action to reduce the risks.
  • A Talking Toolkit, which can help structure conversations with workers to help prevent stress at work, by exploring the six main factors that can lead to work-related stress: demands, control, support, relationships, role, and change.
  • A Working Minds campaign, which aims to help businesses prevent work-related stress in five steps, bringing together practical tools and resources. 

Some of the benefits of reducing stress in the workplace are:

  • Improved staff morale, motivation, and loyalty
  • Enhanced customer service and satisfaction
  • Increased efficiency and quality
  • Reduced costs and wastage
  • Lowered risk of accidents and injuries
  • Enhanced reputation and competitiveness

Stress is a common and serious issue that can affect anyone. By taking action to prevent and manage stress at work, you create a positive working environment that is crucial for long-term business success.

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