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Mental Stress Risk Assessment Template

In its guideline, the Joint German Occupational Safety and Health Strategy (GDA) recommends a list of mental stress factors that should be taken into account in the risk assessment.

Work-related mental stress has a high significance for health and illness. It is therefore important to ensure that mental stress at work is given broad and adequate consideration in occupational health and safety and to improve the reliability of action by all those involved in occupational health and safety in this field.

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General
Work and organisation area
Type of work
Completeness of the Task
A work task is complete when it involves not only the execution of activity but also the preparation, organisation and control of the result. In addition, there should be a mixture of automated activities and activities with complex requirements. Incomplete tasks result in a constant repetition of one and the same operation without any pre- and post-processing indirect activities.
Description of the task
Is the work task complete?
Further comments
Scope of Action
The scope of action includes the degrees of freedom and influence in the activity. A distinction is made between degrees of freedom in terms of time and content: The scope of action is restricted in terms of the degrees of freedom in terms of time if there are precisely defined times, when which work has to be done and how long there is time for this (e.g. on the assembly line, in customer contact) and there is no possibility of interrupting work at short notice. Content-related restrictions of the scope of action result from a lack of influence on the content of the work, as well as from fixed specifications regarding procedures, methods and work equipment.
Is the scope of action restricted?
In what way?
Variability
Variability means variety of tasks and requirements. Employees have the opportunity to use different skills and abilities. A limitation of variability exists when work steps are repeated frequently and the degree of repetition of the activity is high.
Is it possible to use abilities and skills?
Does the activity have a high repetition frequency and a high degree of repetition?
Further comments
Information/ Information Offer
The available information, the possibilities of obtaining information and the amount of information play an important role in the successful completion of work tasks. Information deficits restrict employees in performing their tasks, information may be missing or not up-to-date or may be presented in an unfavourable way. Conversely, too much information that exceeds the amount of information that can be recorded and processed is also problematic.
Is there sufficient and up-to-date information available for the execution of the activity?
Is there too much information available?
Further comments
Responsibility
Responsibility includes clarity about the duties and goals that workers have. Impairments in responsibility occur when responsibilities within the team are unclear, non-transparent or when there are contradictory instructions, i.e. when roles are not clearly defined.
Is there clarity about the duties and goals of employees?
Are all roles clearly assigned?
Further comments
Qualification
The qualification of employees results from the professional and social skills required for the completion of tasks. Incorrect workloads can arise if the tasks do not correspond to the existing qualifications or if the person has not been sufficiently trained. At the same time, qualitative under challenge is also a false burden.
Have the employees been thoroughly trained?
Do the employees carry out work according to their skills?
Further comments
Emotional Demands
Emotional demand is particularly important in the service sector. Employees are confronted with the emotions of others and have to show desired emotions at the same time. Misuse results from the necessity to show certain feelings to the outside world that contradict one's own feelings, which is called emotional dissonance. The persons also experience emotionally stressful situations such as insults or threats of verbal and physical violence.
Are employees trained in how best to deal with emotions?
Do employees know how to deal with emotionally difficult situations?
Further comments
Working Hours
The concept of working time covers the duration of work, the location and distribution of working time as well as breaks and rest periods during work. Excessively long working hours are just as associated with health risks as insufficient or interrupted working hours.
Are the required break and rest periods observed?
Do overtime hours occur regularly?
Are shift work schedules set up in such a way that the recovery times can be adhered to?
Are the working hours flexible?
Further comments
Work Intensity
Work intensity includes both the amount of work required and the complexity of the work task in relation to the time available. Incorrect workloads result from time pressure if the amount of work is too high, there are too many deadlines or the deadlines overlap or unforeseen additional work tasks arise.
Is there sufficient time available to complete the work?
Is the workload too high?
Are the deadlines well planned?
Are there a large number of unforeseen work tasks?
Further comments
Malfunctions / Interruptions
This refers to the disruption and unforeseen interruption of one's own work flow. Problematic is a high number of disturbances and interruptions as well as the simultaneous work on different tasks, between which one has to switch back and forth. Problems can arise when returning to the original action, a new start is required and previous results are lost.
Are there frequent disruptions and interruptions?
Do different tasks have to be completed simultaneously?
Further comments
Communication - Cooperation
This refers to work-related and personal communication opportunities with other colleagues. Too little or no communication and cooperation possibilities, especially at isolated individual workplaces, can lead to incorrect workloads.
Is communication with colleagues possible?
Is cooperation with colleagues possible?
Further comments
Social Relationships with Colleagues
Social relations with colleagues refers to the quality of the relationships that result from work-related interactions. This includes social support from colleagues, but also conflicts and disputes.
Do the colleagues support each other?
Are there often conflicts and disputes between colleagues?
Is there little trust among colleagues? (e.g. due to high competitive pressure between colleagues regarding commission payments, approval of project funds, positions for additional staff)
Further comments
Social Relations with Superiors
Social relations with superiors include social support, appreciation and feedback.
Did the superiors support the employees socially?
Do superiors convey to employees that their work is valued?
Do superiors regularly give feedback on work?
Further comments
Physical and Chemical Factors
Physical factors include, for example, lighting, climate and noise in the workplace. Chemical factors include hazardous substances that can be harmful to health or the environment. Negative consequences can arise from constant heat, noise, insufficient or unfavourable lighting, frequent confrontation and inadequate protection against hazardous substances.
Is the lighting in the workplace adequate?
Are the climate conditions at the workplace optimal?
Does the noise pollution in the workplace comply with the legal regulations?
Are the appropriate protective measures implemented when noise levels are high? (PPE, noise barriers etc.)
Are the employees sufficiently trained in handling hazardous substances?
Are employees provided with the appropriate PPE for hazardous substances?
Further comments
Physical Factors
The physical factors are considered critical if the ergonomic design of the work equipment is unfavourable, heavy physical work has to be performed or an unfavourable posture is encouraged at work.
Are the workplaces ergonomically designed?
Have the employees been trained in ergonomic work?
Is the work physically demanding?
Further comments
Workplace and Information Design
Unfavourable spatial conditions are, for example, restricted freedom of movement. A working height that is too low or too high is also critical. Unfavourable information design means e.g. defective display elements or signals are difficult to detect.
Are the spatial conditions tailored to the work?
Is the working height appropriate?
Are all information signs and signals operable?
Further comments
Work Equipment
Unfavourable with regard to work equipment are conditions which are to be characterised by the fact that tools are missing or unsuitable, machines and tools are difficult to operate or the software design is inadequate.
Are all work equipment available?
Are all work equipment suitable for the task?
Are the machines and tools easy to operate?
Is the software up-to-date and user-friendly?
Further comments
Confirmation
All information is complete and correct.
Date
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Please note that this checklist template is a hypothetical appuses-hero example and provides only standard information. The template does not aim to replace, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or any other applicable law. You should seek your professional advice to determine whether the use of such a checklist is appropriate in your workplace or jurisdiction.
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