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Authority lagging behind on ensuring psychological safety at work

TheCopenhagenPost
April 17th, 2015


This article is more than 9 years old.

Too many cases go undetected by Arbejdstilsynet, critics say

Critics are accusing the working environment authority Arbejdstilsynet of letting companies off too lightly for psychological working condition violations, Politiken reports.

Companies were penalised for or warned about bad psychological conditions in just 3 percent of the 30,000 inspections the authority carried out in 2014, and experts say that this number is far too low at a time when work-related psychological problems are on the rise.

READ MORE: Eight out of ten Danes have stress symptoms

Lacks tools and legal basis
Peter Hasle, a professor at Aalborg University and researcher in working conditions, said the authority simply wasn’t equipped for the task. “Arbejdstilsynet doesn’t have the necessary tools and legal basis to perform its function,” he said.

The number of psychological injuries reported to the board of industrial injuries Arbejdsskadestyrelsen has increased by 170 percent in the past decade, with 5,488 reported cases in 2014.

Ingrid Stage, the head of the academic union Dansk Magisterforening, drew particular attention to the problem of stress in the workplace. “It’s the psychological working environment that is lagging behind and leads to illness-inducing stress,” she said.

“That’s not least the case in many academic workplaces.”

According to the interest organisation Stressforeningen, there are about 35,000 Danes incapacitated by stress each day.


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