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Psychological hazards

Viimati uuendatud: 25.02.2017


Psychological Hazards

Each employer is obliged to protect the life and health of employees in work-related circumstances. The employer is also responsible for the psychosocial working environment, and must evaluate and relieve all risks related to it.

Psychosocial hazards or the regulatory aspects of work that create stress in employees could, in broad, be divided into the following categories:

  • professional requirements on the employee exceed their possibility to cope with them (e.g. insufficient skills to perform the work tasks or      lacking resources for achieving the goals);
  • employee does not have the chance to sufficiently influence their work (e.g. inability to determine their own work pace or determine how to fulfil their work tasks);
  • in the case of problems, the employee cannot rely on help and support from managers or co-workers;
  • professional relations are tense (e.g. harassment at work or witnessing it, clients threatening with violence);
  • role conflict occurs – the employee does not know their exact obligations and responsibility, work tasks are contradictory, work connection with the purposes of the company or employees themselves is unclear;
  • uncertainty predominates in the organization; employees are not involved in changing the work order nor sufficiently informed what the changes bring along.

The employer must evaluate the hazard emanating from the psychosocial risks of the working environment on the employee’s health via risk assessment. When carrying out the risk assessment, it is important that employees express their opinions and talk openly about problems. Therefore, data collection must be confidential and employees may not fall into disadvantaged positions, either by guaranteeing the anonymity of participants, or by other agreements. According to the risk assessment results, the employer must plan activities to improve the psychosocial working environment.

More information about the psychosocial risk assessment and risk prevention is available in the employer’s view.

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