Saf Health Work.  2012 Mar;3(1):43-49.

European Approaches to Work-Related Stress: A Critical Review on Risk Evaluation

  • 1Department of Experimental and Applied Medicine, Section of Occupational Health, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.


In recent years, various international organizations have raised awareness regarding psychosocial risks and work-related stress. European stakeholders have also taken action on these issues by producing important documents, such as position papers and government regulations, which are reviewed in this article. In particular, 4 European models that have been developed for the assessment and management of work-related stress are considered here. Although important advances have been made in the understanding of work-related stress, there are still gaps in the translation of this knowledge into effective practice at the enterprise level. There are additional problems regarding the methodology in the evaluation of work-related stress. The European models described in this article are based on holistic, global and participatory approaches, where the active role of and involvement of workers are always emphasized. The limitations of these models are in the lack of clarity on preventive intervention and, for two of them, the lack of instrument standardization for risk evaluation. The comparison among the European models to approach work-related stress, although with limitations and socio-cultural differences, offers the possibility for the development of a social dialogue that is important in defining the correct and practical methodology for work stress evaluation and prevention.


Workplace; Stress psychological; Risk assessment
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