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Presumption 3: methods and tools for the assessment and management of psycho social risks are not available. Nov 25th, 2014
Survey’s of various Employers, disappointingly have found that only a minority of enterprises inform their employees on psychosocial risks, let alone take appropriate actions to tackle them.

Lack of awareness, lack of resources, and lack of technical support, guidance and expertise were key needs in this area that were identified irrespective of enterprise size, sector or country.

An interesting recent development in this area is the launch of two standards.

The first was launched by the British Standards Institution in 2011 and it is the first national guidance standard on the management of psychosocial risks in the workplace.

The second was launched as a national standard on psychological health and safety in the workplace in Canada in 2013.

Is psychosocial risk prevention possible?

The ultimate question is about the risks each of us is willing to take – as an employee, manager, policy maker, individual. The answer will depend on the context each of us finds ourselves in, associated pressures, needs, and values.

A policy maker might be clear on the available evidence on the impact of psychosocial risks but might choose to focus policies on reaction and not prevention because of economic and/or political pressures.

A line manager might understand that putting more pressure on her employees will challenge their well-being, but might choose to go ahead with the plan of meeting additional targets to satisfy her superiors and contribute to the company’s survival.

An employee might realize that working 60 h per week will make them ill and limit the time spent with his family but might choose to do so to have an income in a country with high unemployment.

In all these cases, each individuals decision can be justified although, on the basis of available knowledge, each situation will not be sustainable and will perpetuate problems at different levels.

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