10th EWHN Conference for labour & occupational health and safety representatives and professionals
“Workers finding a voice in a new Europe"
Friday September 29th to Sunday October 1st 2006, 
Baltic Beach Hotel, Majori, Jurmula, 

Conference Report

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Conference program

Key workshops

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Key Workshop D

Stress, Work Pressure and Health Issues

  • Is your work demand too great?
  • Do you have control over your work-rate?
  • Are you consulted on changes in your workplace?
  • Does your employer match work to the skills and capabilities of the worker?
  • Has your employer a clearly set out policy to promote positive behaviours to avoid conflict and to promote fairness?
  • Are your working conditions unacceptable and causing you distress?
  • Does your employer check on your sickness absence?

This workshop will examine how the many varied pressures of work create unwelcome and unwanted physical and psychological damage to workers’ health, and where the responsibilities of employers and managers lie with respect their Duty of Care.

We will consider a range of strategies which can be applied by employers to ensure that their workforce is treated with dignity and respect within a caring supportive culture.

Facilitators: Ian Draper, Brian Robinson UK National Workstress Network (GB)

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 Workshop report

10th European Work Hazards Network Conference 2006

29th September – 1st October 2006; Baltic Beach Hotel, Jurmala, Latvia

Workshop D: Stress Workpressure and Health Issues

Facilitated by Ian Draper and Brian Robinson, England

The workshop began by discovering the list of stressors which were common to the group which contained delegates from Latvia, Estonia, Holland, Denmark, UK, Germany, Austria, and Lithuania.

The five most common shared stressors were Workload; the attitude of the management towards workers; consultation of workers about work issues and the provision of information; control of working practices and work patterns; and the security of continued employment.

The methods which could be used to interrogate the workplace to identify the stressors present and to assess the risk they posed to worker health were then discussed and instruments to help in this process were examined.

The role of proper contracts and job descriptions which were clear, open and fair was looked at and methods by which the worker associations could be involved in the creation of these were suggested. It was considered that such process of worker participation in this process was an important way in which more control of the workplace situation could be given to the worker.

To provide a framework within which this could take place it was agreed that sound legislation was needed on a Europe wide basis to take in to account the need to ensure the

fair treatment of workers in the mobility of work in the community; such legislation would need to be written into the national legal structure of EU member states and the Trades Union movements would need to pursue this in their own state.

It was agreed that all such legislation must contain robust enforcement procedures.

The value of legislation on the standards of dignity at work which includes the outlawing of bullying, mobbing, sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, age discrimination and all such behaviours was emphasised.

The moves to establish standards under which the quality of life of the worker was improved were welcomed and explored with participants agreeing to take this idea back to their organisation for fuller discussion.

The facilitators would like to thank the participants for their patience, hard work, ideas and good humour which helped control their stress levels.

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