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640 Tackling stress in the workplace
  1. Jaana Vastamäki
  1. Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland

Abstract

Background Work related stress is a wide spread problem in Europe and also in Finland. Almost one third of the workforce report experiencing work stress and stress related symptoms, such as sleeping disorders and problems concentrating, are common problems among employees. Especially, experienced job insecurity and not having enough time to accomplish their duties properly are the most common problems reported in many surveys.

Description of the problem Even though employers are obligated by the Finnish legislation to take measures to analyse the workload factors and to avoid or reduce the risk, not all employers even recognise the psychosocial workload factors. Furthermore, employers and workplaces in general have too little information about the health risks caused by work stress and about the links between stress and other work related factors, such as sick leaves, workplace accidents and reduced productivity.

Results This presentation will describe actions taken in Finland to tackle work stress with the target of prolonging work careers and to reduce sick leaves and early retirement. Actions at all levels will be presented, i.e. in the strategic level, planning and implementation.

Conclusions Tackling work stress requires effective measures both in the policy level and in practical implementation. Successful measures are based in co-operation between governmental institutes, research institutes, trade unions and practitioners.

  • work stress
  • psychosocial workload factors
  • work place practices

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