Protecting workers from getting physically injured isn’t enough these days. Employers are now expected to protect their worker’s mental health, too. And this duty includes taking steps to reduce workers’ stress on the job.
HOW TO USE THE TOOL
This checklist is from an ILO manual on preventing stress at work. The manual contains 50 “checkpoints.” You may either use all the items or create your own list containing only those items relevant to the workplace. Usually, a checklist of about 20–30 items is suitable.
1. Know the workplace
Collect information about the main products or services provided, work methods, the number of workers, the hours of work (including breaks and overtime) and other labour issues you deem important. Depending on the situation, additional information specific to the workplace may be added by using the space provided in the Appendix at the end of the checklist.
2. Define the work area to be checked
Define the work area to be checked in consultation with management, the representatives of the trade union and other key persons, such as members of the JHSC. In the case of a small company, the whole workplace can be checked. In the case of a large company, selected work areas can be checked separately.
3. Initial walk-through or discussion
Read through the checklist and spend some time walking through the work area or discussing stress at
work before starting to use the checklist.
4. Write your check results
Read each item carefully. Mark NO or YES under “Do you propose action?”
— If the measure has already been taken properly or it’s not needed, mark NO.
— If you think the measure would be worthwhile, mark YES.
— Use the space under “Remarks” to write your suggestion or note its location.
5. Select priorities
Among the items you have marked YES, choose a few which seem likely to offer the most important benefits. Mark these as PRIORITY.
6. Group discussion about the check results
Discuss the check results with others who have taken part in the walk-through or discussion. Agree on existing good points and on the measures to be taken based on the checklist. Communicate with management and workers about the proposed measures and follow up on the implementation of these measures.