Practical improvements for stress prevention in the workplace

Stress prevention at work checkpoints

This manual aims at reviewing workplace stress issues. It includes easy-to-apply checkpoints for identifying stressors in working life and mitigating their harmful effects. It is hoped that workers and employers will be able to use the checkpoints to detect causes of stress at work and take effective measures to address them.

Instructional material | 01 January 2012
This manual has been prepared to reflect the increased necessity for measures to deal with problems causing stress in the workplace. The 50 checkpoints included here are based on the experiences of the experts who contributed to its review and preparation in implementing stress prevention in the workplace. The actions for improvement suggested by these checkpoints are also based on a number of underlying principles that have proven to be practicable and applicable in real workplaces. These principles include:
• Immediate solutions need to be developed with the active involvement of managers and workers.
• Group work is advantageous for planning and implementing practical improvements.
• Multifaceted action is necessary to ensure that improvements are sustained over time.
• Continuing action programmes are needed to create locally adjusted improvements.

The checkpoints represent simple, low-cost workplace improvements readily applicable in different working situations. As the checkpoints cover broad areas, users are encouraged to take multifaceted actions that take into account local situations.

This publication is much more than a manual on stress; many of its illustrations are a guide to auditing good safety and health practices which, of course, will pay dividends in minimizing stress. The publication of this document is expected to complement ILO activities aimed at improving workplace conditions and preventing stress at work in many countries around the world.

There are three main ways of using this manual:
• applying selected checkpoints in the manual to the workplace by means of locally adapted, handy checklists;
• making ready-to-use information sheets; and
• organizing training workshops for planning and implementing immediate workplace changes.