This project started in May 2008, with the aim of targeting sectors where workplace stress has been identified across Europe. These sectors are
- Public sector agency
- Local government
Invitations to attend an information seminar on workplace stress were sent out to over 500 such organisations. At these sessions, held in Dublin in May 2008, an outline of the project was given and attendees were invited to volunteer to be part of the project, which would formally run from Sept 08 – May 2009.
Those who volunteered were then known as Work Positive partners for the duration of the project.
The project plan was as follows
- Inform all of the concept of Work Related Stress
- Assess the Risks – through using the Work Positive survey tool
- Consult and feedback the findings and organisational/dept profile
- Put in place Control Measures- training/education/coaching/system changes
- Monitor and review – use Work positive every 18/24 months to ensure continual improvement
It was agreed that the HSA provide support for all of the above for the purpose of this project.
The initial aim was to have access to five organisations from each sector. However, in the finance sector, only one bank stayed with the project. This may be due to timing as in Sept and Oct 2008 4 different finance organisations, having initially indicated strong interest, did not continue association with the project. As it was a voluntary system at the time, this was within their scope.
The 20 organisations who undertook the project received support, advice, resources and feedback from the Authority. However, they also put in much effort and met many challenges themselves. They are to be recognised as progressive in signing up to the project, which was finally brought to the end of its first phase on May 5th. Minister for Labour Affairs Calleary, in his first engagement with the Authority, signalled that organisations taking proactive measures to deal with the issue of workplace stress were more likely than others to make it through the tough times ahead.