Derek Maylor, NW BTU Health & Safety co-ord Chairperson reports on a presentation by Barry Holt, Director of Policy & Research for IIRSM
Barry Holt, the Director of Policy & Research for IIRSM and a highly sought speaker on at safety events round the country, opened the seminar. Barry has been involved in health and safety for many years - providing advice to many organisations including Government agencies. He has worked in many parts of the world, including the Middle East, Asia Pacific, USA as well as Europe, and also former Soviet bloc.
Whilst companies are limited to help on domestic issues they clearly can control issues that contribute to stress within the workplace. Employees should be encouraged to use their initiative and to develop new skills. Employees should be consulted over work patterns and when breaks can be taken.
Barry noted that we need to change the perception that worker admitting to stress is a sign of weakness and a large link in the chain is the relationship between the worker and their manager. Workers must be involved in decision making.
Other guest speakers were, Steve Mann, CWU Health & Safety Dept, Steve Exall, HR, BT Operate and BT Innovate and Design, and Dominic Hemsi, MPH Solicitors whose law firm also sponsors this website.
Workshop sessions were taken by staff from the mental health charity, MIND.
The timetable for the day was as follows:
THE MECHANICS OF WORKPLACE STRESS
* What is workplace stress?
Exercise 1 Stress Pub Quiz
A Round Table quiz in which teams answer a series of questions relating to the stress (prevalence, impact, legislative position/protection etc)
STIGMA AS A BARRIER TO DISCLOSURE
* Why is it a “taboo” subject?
Exercise 2 Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace
Delegates will be asked to identify the components of a “mentally healthy workplace” in this exercise.
Followed by Feedback and Speaker presentation of example of good practice.
Further reports of the day will be published on this website later this week.
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