European Month of Ergonomics EME 2014-2015 "Ergonomics for manageing work-related stress"

For the two-year period of 2014-2015 the FEES has decided to support the European campaign "Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress", organized by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). The overall content of the campaign is described as "manageing work-related stress and psychosocial risks". The topic is especially interesting for ergonomists, for whom this is a part of their core expertise area. The FEES is also an official partner of the EU-OSHA.

Therefore, the yearly FEES campaign European Month of Ergonomics EME is dedicated in 2014-2015 to this to this subject, by the topic "Ergonomics for manageing work-related stress". The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate the potential of ergonomics knowledge and methods in manageing work-related risks and thus promote the collaboration between ergonomists and occupational health and safety experts to work together for this subject.

The EU-OSHA campaign Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress recognizes the definition "Work-related stress occurs when the demands at work are beyond a workers ability to cope with them". The campaign aims at (1) raising awareness of the growing problem of work-related stress and psychosocisl risks, (2) provision of the tools and guidance for manageing it at the workplace and, (3) highlighting the all-inclusive positive effects of managing these risks both for the workplace and for the business. For more information, see

The EU-OSHA campaign covers this topic on the whole, including e.g. organizational issues such as job reorganization, job insecurity, working hours and increasing intensity of work, responsibilities and rewards and, interpersonal matters like bullying or harrashment. The FEES campaign will, for ergonomists' part, draw a special attention to matters related to work and workplace itself.

The work task design and the design of systems interfaces is in the heart of ergonomics, and their poor design can be an essential source of work-related stress. For example, a poor information system which does not correctly support the worker or the task, or, a working tool or device which is not in the proper control of the worker, will not only become a source of cumulating stress but also a potential reason for accidents and economical losses.

Ergonomists have experience on these work-related stress factors and their diverse consequences. They have developed ways and methods to analyze the work for identifying and reducing associated risks. Furthermore, they have developed design principles and instructions for optimizing the systems and environments to increase both well-being of the users and efficiency of the systems. The ergonomists are also experienced to develop work and work organizations parallelly and together with all stake holders at the workplace, including occupational health and safety experts. Last but not least they have experience on participatory development activity, which is now called for as a general approach to solve multiple problems at the workplace.erse take the requirements of the use into account.

The two-year campaign of the FEES will follow the general scheme of these campaigns, starting from the introduction and continuing to a more practical level, e.g. to presentation of cases or methods and discussion of experiences at the national level. In the realization of the campaign the active involvement of the national ergonomics societies is essential, for example by exchanging ideas, by distribution of material and by gathering and distribution of experiences. An intoductory power point presentation will be published after the launching of the OSHA campaign in the April 2014.

Communication and Promotion Committee
FEES Federation of the European Ergonomics Societies