The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), together with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), have published a report which is titled: Psychosocial risks in Europe: prevalence and strategies for prevention.
This study, under the campaign Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress 2014-2015 presents comparative information on the prevalence of psychosocial risks in Europe and analyses the association between these risks and the impact they have on the health of the exposed workers.
We here at PrevenControl, a media partner for the EU-OSHA campaign, would like to provide you with a summary of the main findings of this report:
- 25% of workers report experiencing stress during all or most of their workday. Among the risk factors that most affect this grey reality we find the nature of the task (monotonous and complex tasks, for example) and the imposition of an excessive work rhythm, or in any case, inadequate. We must point out that a similar percentage says they have noted that the development of their activity negatively affects their work.
- An overall decrease in cases of violence and harassment in the workplace is reported. The vast majority of employees surveyed agree on the negative impact of these risks to their health and safety, as opposed to other working conditions as the reconciliation of work and family life, and social support. Still, an increase in these risks in some European countries has been detected, with these being among the hardest hit by the economic crisis.
- The incidence of some psychosocial risk factors has fallen since 2005. Fewer people report working long hours and a lack of social support.
- The economic crisis and its impact on psychosocial risks at work. In countries where the economic crisis has hit the hardest, insecurity at work is a latent reality. This results in excessive work hours (as indicated by one-fifth of workers) or irregular schedules. Recently, increases in work pressure and violence and harassment have been reported in some countries.
- Some gender differences have been noted. In general, men spend more hours at work than women. Women, in turn, continue to face more obstacles than the opposite sex in the development of their careers.
- Great awareness but little action… nearly 80% of managers express a concern about work-related stress. And nearly one in five considers violence and harassment to be of major concern. Despite these concerns, less than one-third of establishments have procedures in place to deal with such risks.
This latter point clarifies in part the problems facing the social psychology of work in Europe and, if I may, in Spain. The growing perception of this type of risk, both strictly at work and socially is slowly placing this discipline in its rightful place. If however, implementing measures, protocols, procedures and good practice remains a problem in most organizations, thereby forgoing the benefits that the proper management of psychosocial risks grants.
Finally, we would like to remind you that the 20th to 24th of October marks the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, sponsored by the EU-OSHA.
In the framework of this European week Psicopreven and PrevenControl will present the project SMART STRESS PROJECT, focused on studying, from a theoretical and practical point of view, the tools that can help us further reduce psychosocial risks and address psychosocial risk factors.
PrevenControl es la firma especializada en seguridad y salud laboral que propone soluciones eficaces e innovadoras para la mejora del negocio y la reputación de sus clientes a través de la consultoría, el uso de la tecnología y la formación.