Executing stress auditsIntroduction It is a fact that stresses in the workplace impacts very negatively on the individual and the organization at large. This in return has forced these very organizations to look for proactive ways of managing stress. It is also being cited from several sources that the main reason from absenteeism from work is illness, however, the second main cause of absence from non-manual workers is work related stress, and stress is also the fourth main reason why manual workers decides to get absent from job. In 2004 alone in the UK it was estimated that approximately 1.4 million working days were lost as a result of stress, and this translated to an estimated £3.8 billion loss to the UK economies.
It is the negative economic implications arising from such astronomical figures have propelled UK based institutions to increase their interest on assessing the level of stress among their workforce. This current brief is going to begin by discussing a case study proof which is going to outline that having some executed stress audits may be a significant factor in a company’s defense against litigation, and in our case we will use Mr.
Walker VS Northumberland County Council suit. This brief will then proceed and address some of the current issues involved with measuring and managing stress in the workplace. The document is going to discuss what are stress audits and the kind of information these audits produces, the potential benefits, and some of the pitfalls that are likely to arise. The brief will also discuss the products that are available for managing stress audits, implications for conducting stress audits, and steps which are necessary after an audit has been conducted.
Literature Review Walker VS Northumberland County Council Case Walker (Plaintiff) worked for the Northumberland County Council (Defendant) as a social services officer between 1970-1987. He was a middle manager responsible for managing four teams of social services field workers within the Blythe Valley in Northumberland, and Mr. Walker was answerable to the assistant director of field services division. Blythe Valley was amongst the five social service divisions within Northumberland and the area comprised of new town dwellings with relatively proportion of very young families.
During this period of 80’s, Blythe Valley population also increased significantly and in return the volume of work that had to be undertaken by Mr. Walker and his team also rose in tandem. Even though the number of field workers during the period 1974-1978 were increased by the Northumberland County, there was no increase of Blythe Valley workers in 1978, and come 1986 the pressure of work on workers operating at Blyth Valley was so intense, and not only the team was pressurized, but also Mr.
Walker as their boss. Come November 1986, Mr. Walker suffered a nervous breakdown. Mr. Walker suffered from upset, inability to cope up with any sorts of stress, irritability, sleeplessness, headaches, acute anxiety, and mental exhaustion. This condition forced Mr. Walker to seek some off work until 4th March 1987. When Walker was off duty, he would visit his family doctor Dr. D.A Stephens for medical checkups. Mr. Walker had no previous history of any sorts of mental illness, and his personal doctor, Dr. Stephens managed to observe the Mr.
Walkers anxieties were as a result of the work pressure because a comprehensive review of all other areas in his life failed to produce any evidence of concurrent problems. In view of this fact, it became common ground that Mr. Walker’s illness was directly attributed to his personality in the workplace.