The State Claims Agency (SCA), the claims and risk management function of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), in collaboration with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and CISM Network Ireland, today launch a new online innovative framework for protecting the psychological health and safety of workers in occupational groups likely to be exposed to critical incidents at work. The framework provides feedback on workplace stressors, employee psychological wellbeing and critical incident exposure in the workplace. It also provides structured guidance, enabling organisations to develop an action plan to mitigate against these stressors.
The framework, called WorkPositiveCI, is the first psychosocial risk management framework to be introduced in Europe which is specific to critical incidents and incorporates a free, easy to use, innovative, confidential, online process. Since 2002, the HSA has provided a comprehensive framework for the assessment of psychosocial risk, based on a set of management standards which looks at the six primary sources of stress at work. This initiative is an update to the existing Work Positive workplace stress tool with additional guidance on psychological wellbeing and critical incident exposure in the workplace.
Embedding the framework can benefit workplaces in the following ways:
- Reduced absenteeism and turnover
- Reduced workplace stress and critical incident stress
- Reduced occupational health referrals
- Increased employee satisfaction, productivity and overall engagement
- Fewer complaints
- Increased risk awareness
- Reduced claims exposure
The SCA includes a statutory brief to advise and assist Delegated State Authorities (DSAs) in relation to measures to prevent or reduce risks which, if not addressed, may give rise to personal injury and property damage claims. With this in mind, the SCA worked collaboratively with the Health and Safety Authority and CISM Network Ireland to produce WorkPositiveCI.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Mr. Paschal Donohoe said
“The wellbeing of employees at work is of paramount importance. As well as being the right thing to do, reducing workplace stress and working to improve psychological health will help with recruitment and retention of staff. That is why I am delighted to launch this tool that harnesses technology to reduce risks for workers and I hope the framework will encourage best practice to promote health and improve well-being in the workplace”.
Minister for Employment and Small Business, Mr. Pat Breen said
“I commend the State Claims Agency and the Health and Safety Authority for collaborating in an effort to raise awareness about positive mental health and well-being among employers. We know that psychosocial risks and the sources of anxiety for employees are complex, multi-dimensional issues. The two agencies have collaborated in developing an easy to use tool that can help employers and employees deal with potential stressors arising from on-going systemic issues and now, for the first time, for critical incidents at work too. It can also assist organisations at a more general level to identify and better manage psychosocial risks in the workplace”.
Mr. Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said
“The issue of work-related stress is now recognised as significant factor in the health and wellbeing of our workforce. This is a concern for the HSA, and we have included the promotion of positive mental health in the workplace as one of our current strategic goals. It is certainly a topic that we believe deserves more focus and this new online tool will assist both employers and employees in identifying and managing the risks of work-related stress.”
Mr. Brendan McNicholas, Chair of CISM Network Ireland said
“CISM Network Ireland urges all employers to use WorkPositiveCI to assess the psychosocial risks to those under their care, and develop a policy to manage critical incident stress in the workplace”.
Mr. Pat Kirwan, Deputy Director of the SCA said
“We are pleased to launch this new framework today to encourage workplace practices that promote good health. This is important for the SCA as many of the organisations under its remit provide emergency, rescue, security, and healthcare services to the citizens of the State. The staff of these organisations deserve our support and protection as many of them face the risk of exposure to critical incidents in their daily working lives.”
The World Health Organisation defines a critical incident as an event out of the range of normal experience which is sudden and unexpected. It involves the perception of threat to life and can include elements of physical and emotional loss.
The NTMA is a State body which operates with a commercial remit to provide asset and liability management services to Government and is designated as the State Claims Agency when performing the claims and risk management functions delegated to it under the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2000.
The SCA’s principal objectives are:
- To ensure that the State’s liabilities in relation to personal injury and property damage claims, and the expenses of the SCA in relation to their management, are contained at the lowest achievable level.
- To implement targeted personal injury and property damage risk work programmes to mitigate litigation risk, in State authorities and healthcare enterprises, in order to reduce the costs of future litigation against the State.
The SCA has a multidisciplinary team comprising engineers and scientists, who are specialists in the area of enterprise risk management and who work to minimise the incidence of claims against State authorities.
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has overall responsibility for the administration and enforcement of health and safety at work in Ireland. The HSA also promotes education, training and research in the field of health and safety.
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Network Ireland provides a forum for the promotion and exchange of best practice information on CISM and information on standards, availability and provision of training for CISM. This Network is the first of its kind in Ireland and is the leading group to advise, work with, and support the emergency services (and others) in implementing CISM in Ireland
Positively supporting employee engagement and wellbeing
Work Positive CI is a FREE psychosocial risk management process that helps organisations identify ways to improve employee wellbeing.