depressionEU-OSHA, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, has paid tribute to more than 100 European companies and federations that joined forces with the agency to combat workplace stress. By volunteering to become Official Campaign Partners of the “Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress” campaign, these organizations make a great contribution to making Europe’s workplaces healthier and safer.

EU-OSHA honored its Official Campaign Partners with a special ceremony which was held as part of a two-day ‘Benchmarking event on Occupational Safety and Health’ on 5-6 March in Brussels. At this occasion, EU-OSHA announced that Siemens was the winner of an award in the area of managing work-related stress and psychosocial risks, part of the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards competition and a new category created especially for Official Campaign Partners.

European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, congratulated all the companies and organizations for taking workplace stress seriously and said:“Previous campaigns by EU-OSHA have highlighted the importance of management and workers tackling workplace health and safety issues together. Strong leadership by management and full involvement of workers in the problem-solving process are key ingredients to success. I am impressed by your commitment to eradicating workplace stress. The ceremony here this evening shows us in very practical terms what can be achieved in health and safety at Europe’s workplaces. It is a reminder to us all of the progress that can be made when we all pull together.”

Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA, was delighted to honor participants with their certificates of recognition: “This benchmarking event demonstrates the benefits of the exchange of good practice for European workplaces. It also shows just how important Official Campaign Partners are to the Healthy Workplaces Campaign and the objectives of EU-OSHA. We are pleased to be cooperating with an unprecedented number of over 100 official campaign partners, from multinational corporations such as Heineken, Toyota, and Lego, to European Social Partners such as BUSINESSEUROPE and ETUC and many others. Their commitment is crucial for helping to tackle psychosocial risks and stress in the workplace’.

Siemens won the award for its holistic psychosocial risk and resource management framework, ‘Life in Balance’ initiative. This company-wide program focuses on five key areas: awareness, leadership involvement, communication, training and the Employee Assistance Program. Applying this initiative has led to a high level of improvements in service, lowered costs and better management reporting at Siemens. Furthermore, absenteeism has decreased by 26 % since the initiative began.

Acciona Energia and Airbus were also commended for their contribution to efficient management of work-related stress and psychosocial risks.

Europe-wide, it is estimated that psychosocial risks and workplace stress cost the European economy billions of euros a year and 50-60 percent of all lost working days can be attributed to work-related stress.