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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 162

Date:- 07 August 2004

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NEW HEADACHE TO EMPLOYERS AND THEIR LIABILITY INSURANCE 

STANDARDS of the work place again are under scrutiny warn Liverpool based law firm Weightmans as stress management of employees is focused on working conditions ahead of the forthcoming Health and Safety Executive review.

The review due to be implemented later this year, will provide a means by which the HSE can judge how well an employer recognises and manages the mental well being of employees in the workplace.

The Water Street firm believes that many who expect their employers’ liability cover to protect them should claims be made due to stress could be caught out. 

Kieran Jones, workplace partner at Weightmans, said:- “As far as lost time through illness is concerned, stress takes second position only to back injury and strains. With more and more claims coming before tribunals, employers need to be aware of where they stand. 

As stress is a “hot topic” with the HSE, it follows that there can be no excuse for companies who fail to consider stress in their organisation and introduce appropriate risk assessment and policies for the benefit of their employees and themselves. 

If they do not, they must prepare to face the financial consequences including the potential of unlimited fines in the higher courts.”


Weightmans advises employers looking to reduce the occurrence of workplace stress to:- 

Consider carefully the HSE management standards and whether the methodology recommended is suitable for their organisation. 

Ensure their Health and Safety policy recognises stress as an issue and provides a mechanism for employees to communicate if they encounter circumstances causing them to experience stress. 

Investigate what steps, if any, can be taken to reduce the risk of stress and whether the changes are realistic and reasonable for the size of their operation and the extent of the risk. 

Ensure managers investigate the causes of absenteeism and monitor any apparent patterns developing in particular individuals or teams. 

Investigate whether there is evidence of colleagues suffering from stress. Is there evidence of an unusual history of absenteeism, a substantial number of complaints concerning workload, harassment or a change in technology or organisation? 

Ensure managers act upon the knowledge they have about an employee’s state of mind whether this is gained informally or formally. 

Ensure managers take steps to deal with stress amongst the workforce by offering the employee confidential counselling, workload reviews, addressing issues of discrimination, bullying and harassment, providing time off and referring the employee to occupational health counselling. 

The Powergen Tuk Tuk Roadshow hits Birkenhead

THIS weekend there will be a unique and fun means of free transport in town when pedicabs hit the streets of Birkenhead as part of the ‘Powergen Tuk Tuk Roadshow’.

For three days, Birkenhead residents will be able to hail a free ride in a pedicab, a cross between a bike and a rickshaw. The Thai-style tuk-tuks will be available to any passer-by, giving them an environmentally friendly and exciting way to Birkenhead traffic and beat the crowds.

Christine Murphy, Powergen’s Residential Propositions Manager, said:- “The Roadshow is just one way in which Powergen is trying to get people to think about how they use their energy, while also helping make their lives easier, saving them money and making their journey a little bit more fun.”

The Tuk-Tuk Roadshow has been set up by Powergen across six towns in North West England to mark the launch of its ‘Capped price electricity and gas’ product. The new product caps the price of energy for the next two years, regardless of changes in the market place. 

This week... posters go up in Southport's Pubs & Clubs...

The new posters....

THIS week thousands of posters and flyers have gone out over Southport to warn nightclub and pub goes not to get drunk.   Over the last year the image of Southport has been damaged repeatedly due to incidents related to drinking in excess and the police and landlords have had enough.   The posters will be backed up with strong policing of the Town to curve the nascence.  So if you go out, don't get drunk.  Just have a good time and keep to your limit.

EMAIL US ALL YOUR VIEWS & NEWS TODAY

Log On Today!  Hear the local bands, pop, rock, classical, jazz and more... also going out soon will be phone ins and other talk events that will keep you entertained.