CWU's National Health, Safety & Environment Officer, Dave Joyce has written to all CWU Postal Constituency Branches enclosing a joint statement from the Union and Royal Mail Group, also signed by CMA; launching a new ‘Whole Workplace/Office’stress risk assessment tool to be used by managers and USRs in all RMG workplaces.
In an ettempt to help improve mental health in the workplace, both Unins and the Employer are supporting the use of this tool which was designed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
In his Letter To Branches (LTB353/2021) Dave goes into great detail about the Stress Risk Assessment Process Tool the Updated Stress Toolkit which includes the Individual Stress Risk Assessment Process for Royal Mail Group:
Mental health problems are widespread, at times disabling, yet often hidden. Research by the mental health charity the ‘Mental Health Foundation’ found that three quarters of UK adults had felt ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ in the previous year, with one in three having suicidal feelings as a result of stress.
The CWU Health Safety and Environment Department has been working with Royal Mail Group on introducing a revised, updated Stress Risk Assessment Process, Toolkit and Guidance for CWU members.
Through this new approach RMG recognise work-related stressors as a potential hazard to health and are jointly committed to managing work related stress in a proactive manner to reduce the personal impact on RMG employees – now both for individuals and across whole workplaces, involving a process used to measure population based stressors when we assess all the staff in a workplace e.g., a Mail Processing Centre, a Delivery Office, a Distribution Centre, a Depot, a Hub, a Workshop, an Admin Unit etc., for example.
Work-related stress is recognised as one of the main ill health concerns in the workplace and the launch of the new Royal Mail Group/CWU agreed ‘Whole Workplace, Whole Office or Whole Work Group’ Stress Risk Assessment Tool adds a new dimension to the Royal Mail stress standard. Through this new additional process, collective workforce stress can be recognised and risk assessed. Working together, managers, CWU representatives and employees can jointly assess stress levels amongst the workforce in a workplace and develop solutions and ideas on how to tackle it effectively.
The management and reduction of stress is an important part of a changing culture in Royal Mail and if implemented properly can significantly reduce levels of mental and physical illness caused by work-related stress and anxiety.
Through the ‘Because Healthy Minds Matter’ Strategy, Royal Mail Group have committed to implement effective support strategies and tools that can make a positive difference to the Royal Mail Group workforce who are directly or indirectly affected by mental ill-health.
Royal Mail Group state that protecting the health, safety and welfare of employees remains the number one priority. Royal Mail Group are on record as recognising that workplace stress is a health and safety matter and acknowledge the importance of identifying and reducing workplace stressors.
This updated Stress Toolkit can be a major component in the vision for a workplace with good mental health for all and prevention is at the heart of it.
The ‘Two-Level’ Stress Approach
The new approach being jointly launched is very much focused on the ‘two level’ stress approach.
This two-level Stress Risk Assessment process is supported by a helpline and website offering advice and wellbeing guidance called the ‘First Class Support’ service.
The CWU very much welcomes this positive initiative which we helped shape through positive involvement and consultation at every stage and includes:
* The individual stress risk assessment called the ‘Guided Conversation for Stress’ and
* The ‘Whole Workplace/Office/Group Stress Risk Assessment using the full HSE Stress Management Standards Risk Assessment Indicator Tool Questionnaire.
* This two-level Stress Risk Assessment process is supported by a RMG ‘First Class Support’ helpline and a ‘Feeling First Class’ website offering advice and guidance.
Individual Stress Risk Assessment
In October 2016, Royal Mail Group together with the CWU and Unite CMA jointly launched the first Royal Mail Group Stress Toolkit, which includes guidance to help prevent and manage workplace stress including the ‘Guided Conversation’ which is an individual Stress Risk Assessment.
Group Stress Risk Assessment
Building on the earlier agreement and following trials at 15 Units in 2019, Royal Mail Group are now enhancing the ‘Stress Toolkit’ further by introducing the new ‘Group Stress Risk Assessment’ designed to assess collective work-related stress levels across all employees in a workplace, office, depot, hub, plant, workshop, centre or a workgroup.
Developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as part of the HSE Stress Management Standards, the Group Stress Risk Assessment Tool has been designed to gather the opinions and feedback of the workforce as a whole in a given workplace, work unit, work groups or employee etc., through a survey, following which the responses are collated, aggregated and analysed to
The full LTB which includes detail of the process and the ‘Whole Workplace/Office’stress risk assessment tool, along with associated documentation; can be downloaded from the Unionsafety E-Library by selecting the search category 'Stress' and/or search word 'LTB353'.
Source: CWU / Dave Joyce