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In Europe, work-related stress is among the most commonly reported causes of occupational illness and costs an estimated €20 billion per year (EuroFound, 2007). As a result of proactive work by our enterprise risk management unit in relation to workplace stress and critical incident stress among frontline staff, there was an identified need to develop a bespoke psychosocial risk assessment framework with specific guidance for dealing with critical incidents in the workplace.

This framework is known as Work PositiveCI and was developed by the State Claims Agency in collaboration with the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Network Ireland.

What is Work PositiveCI?

Work PositiveCI is a FREE easy to use, innovative, confidential, psychosocial risk management process. It provides feedback on workplace stressors, employee psychological wellbeing and critical incident exposure in the workplace. It delivers structured guidance enabling organisations to develop an action plan to mitigate against these stressors.

Work PositiveCI is the first psychosocial risk management framework specific to critical incidents in Europe and incorporates an easy to use online risk assessment tool as part of the four step prepare, measure, action plan and review process which is aligned with the Psychosocial Risk Management European Framework (Prima-EF).

Work PositiveCI has been endorsed by leading international professionals in the field of CISM including Professor Mitchell, a Clinical Professor of Emergency, Health Services at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, Maryland and President Emeritus of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Professor Jeffrey T. Mitchell on the importance of CISM and the Work Positive CI initiative

Work PositiveCI Benefits

Work PositiveCI can be used by organisations to manage the risks and comply with Irish civil and statutory legal obligations concerning workplace stress; protect workers’ health from existing and emerging hazards, including psychosocial hazards and encourage best practice to promote good health and improve wellbeing.

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 World Health Organisation (WHO), 2006 describe a critical incident as an event out of the range of normal experience – one which is sudden and unexpected, involves the perception of a threat to life and can include elements of physical and emotional loss. Examples of these incidents include witnessing death and/or serious injury to a child, patient, service user or colleague in the workplace.

Examples of industries that are actively exposed to critical incidents in the workplace include frontline staff in particular those who work in the healthcare sector (doctors, nurses, carers etc.), emergency, military, security, rescue, public sector and others who operate in similar industries within the private sector.

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.

Positively supporting employee engagement and wellbeing

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