This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week has stress as the key campaign focus. We know stress is a major concern for rail and this has led to much collaborative work to understand the causes and to reduce the impact on rail workers and enhance our ability to deliver safe and reliable railways. Can better use of occupational health (OH) expertise be the next step toward to easing the organisational and human burden of workplace stress?
I recently moved into rail after 17 years of working as an occupational health nurse specialist for the NHS. The health and social care sectors have the highest prevalence of workplace stress in the UK, followed by education and other public services (HSE 2017) and so I have seen too many people across many organisations struggling due to stress as well as the effect on productivity and delivery of performance objectives.