HSE Launches Working Minds Campaign

Working Minds campaign - three workers talking

HSE IS LAUNCHING a new campaign, ‘Working Minds’ to help businesses recognise the signs of work-related stress and make tackling issues routine.

Work-related stress and poor mental health risk becoming a health and safety crisis for Great Britain’s workplaces, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned.

Mental health issues are the number one reason given for sick days in the UK. Last year more than 17 million working days were lost as a result of stress, anxiety, or depression. A recent survey by the charity Mind suggests that 40% of employees’ mental health had worsened during the pandemic.

Working Minds

While ‘Working Minds’ is specifically targeting six million workers in small businesses, HSE is calling for a culture change across Britain’s workplaces. It wants to ensure psychological risks are treated the same as physical ones in health and safety risk management.

Work-Related Stress

HSE’s chief executive Sarah Albon said: “Work-related stress and poor mental health should be treated with the same significance as risks of poor physical health and injury. In terms of the affect it has on workers, significant and long-term stress can limit performance and impact personal lives.

“No worker should suffer in silence and if we don’t act now to improve workers’ mental health, this could evolve into a health and safety crisis.”

Employers Legal Duty

HSE is reminding business that no matter where people work, employers have a legal duty to assess the risks in the workplace. This assessment should not just be in terms of potential hazards and physical safety. Employers should also promote good working practices. It says this promotes an open environment where employees can share their concerns and discuss options to ease pressures.

Employer Reminder

Sarah Albon added: “Our campaign is focused on giving employers a clear reminder of their duties while championing reducing work-related stress and promoting good mental health at work.”

The regulator has partnered with a number of organisations to highlight the triggers of stress, the legal duty of employers and how to manage the risks.

The Five ‘R’s’

The network of Working Minds champions includes the charity Mind, which supports and empowers anyone experiencing a mental health problem in England.

Working Minds is aimed specifically at supporting small businesses by providing employers and workers with easy to implement advice, including simple steps in its ‘5 R’s’ to Reach out, Recognise, Respond, Reflect, and make it Routine.

Employers and workers wanting to know more about the Working Minds campaign, including the legal obligations, advice, and tools available, should visit the HSE Workright site.

>>Read more about the workplace and mental health in the news

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