New campaign to combat work-related stress
A new campaign aimed at fighting work-related stress was launched in July 2002 by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. It is estimated that this problem affects over 40 million employees in the EU.
A new European Agency for Safety and Health at Work health and safety campaign, Working on stress, was launched on 2 July 2002 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg by Pat Cox, the President of the European Parliament, and Anna Diamantopoulou, the member of the European Commission responsible for employment and social affairs. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the problem of stress throughout the EU (TN0111109S) and enable all those involved in this issue across Europe to work together.
The main focus of the campaign is to draw on and disseminate examples of good practice for combating work-related stress. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, stated that: 'no single country has the solution; together, however, we can make inroads into this costly human and economic problem.'
The campaign will also raise awareness of the risks of work-related stress and suggest solutions through a range of media, which will include information packs, leaflets, posters and a multilingual website.
The campaign will culminate in the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, in October 2002, at which the winners of European good practice awards will be announced. These will be organisations which have most successfully tackled work-related stress.
The Agency estimates that stress at work affects around 28% of the EU workforce, amounting to over 40 million employees. Although women report the highest levels of stress, it is perceived to be a problem for both sexes, in all sectors and at all organisational levels. Stress is thought to cause cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and mental health problems. It is also estimated to be related to up to 60% of absence from work.