Is my risk assessment approach suitable and sufficient?
If you can answer 'yes' to all the questions, then your approach is likely to be considered a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for work related stress.
- Do you include all the steps in the risk assessment process?
- Do you focus on prevention and organisational level solutions?
- Do you include provision for dealing with other issues, e.g. individual issues?
- Do you ensure commitment from all parties (senior management, employees and their representatives)?
- Do you have arrangements to identify those aspects of the work, organisation or environment that are known to be risk factors for work related stress?
- Does your approach highlight the extent and nature of the gap, if any, between the current situation, and what is seen as good practice, e.g. ‘the states to be achieved’ in the Management Standards, for each of the identified stress risk areas?
Do you involve the workforce:
- By asking about their views regarding good and bad features of workplace conditions?
- By seeking their suggestions, advice and comments on potential solutions to problems (e.g. improvements to working conditions, changes in the way work is organised, etc)?
- By ensuring that people are empowered to contribute and feel that their views are listened to and acted on?
- By communicating outcomes (e.g. action plans)?
- Do you seek to develop and adopt solutions that are 'reasonably practicable'?
- Do you provide documentation to show what you have done at each stage of the process and that you are implementing the recommended actions?
It is important that you document what you have done, whether you follow the Management Standards approach or an alternative approach to carrying out a risk assessment for work related stress. Documenting the process you have followed provides an audit trail to help you demonstrate to the relevant inspection authorities that what you have done represents a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.