Risk assessment of psychological strains at the workplace
The Zurich Group in Germany (ZGD) recognises its responsibility as an employer to guarantee occupational safety and to minimise work-related health risks. This approach includes the assessment of psychological strains.
In a 2011 pilot project the company analysed 264 workplaces in eight divisions. The findings were then evaluated in team workshops in which concrete suggestions for improvement were drawn up and forwarded to the company management.
It is planned that following the evaluation of the pilot project there will, for the first time, be a companywide risk analysis. This will take place simultaneously at all locations in the fourth quarter of 2014. From 2016 onwards the company plans to repeat this project at two-yearly intervals. The aim is to identify, minimise and eliminate psychological strain factors.
The management board of ZGD commissioned the project which is managed by the Occupational Health Management of the company. The external partner is the company SKOLAMED GmbH in Königswinter near Bonn.
It is particularly important that all corporate parties with responsibilities in this area are involved in the project from the outset. This applies mainly to the company management as the initiator of the project, parties which deal with the works constitution and the „health circle” as a platform for all corporate forums and bodies that are involved in „healthcare at the workplace”. Ultimately it is the transparent and open communication which is vital to convince all employees of the purpose of risk assessment and thus achieve a high rate of participation.
A united stand by employers and employees plays a decisive role in acceptance of this corporate measure.
Impacts and benefits
In addition to the legal obligation to conduct a risk assessment, the intention of this project is to improve occupational health and safety as well as employee motivation and identification with ZGD, all of which contribute to higher productivity.