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Stress case study – Singer instruments

The situation

This science company has 36 employees and a diverse workforce. The quality manager was asked to take over health and safety management for the organisation at a time were two workers on sick leave with work-related stress.

Developing solutions

The company made urgent changes to help them - making sure there was regular contact and talking to them about a staged return to work. There were adjustments to their roles to make sure they did not go back to the same situation they were in when they went off sick. Both successfully returned to work.

The next step was to use the Management Standards Indicator Tool to find out what workers across the company were concerned about. Lack of management support was raised as the biggest concern. It seems the largest cause of stress was not workload or pressure, but feeling isolated because they felt unable to share worries or concerns.

Now, if someone has a problem they cannot discuss with their manager, they ask the health and safety manager for help. Key to reducing employee distress is having someone in place who can listen to them without judging them and can help them to resolve their problem or point them in the direction of appropriate help.


There is now a very content workforce in the company. The Health and Safety Manager role covered all departments in the company and this independence allowed him to talk to everyone most days.

The fact that he did not have targets specific to the day-to-day running of the business signalled to employees his availability at any time if they had a problem they wanted to talk about. The quality manager is a registered counsellor and psychotherapist.

Updated 2017-11-23