Re-watch the launch event of HesaMag#26: ‘Psychosocial risks: a mounting crisis' here.
‘If people are unhappy at work it’s because they’ve got problems in their personal lives.’ ‘Only people who are already fragile are affected by psychosocial risks, it’s got nothing to do with the company!’ ‘Ah, psychosocial risks, that’s about harassment right? We don’t have any of that!’ These are just a few of the deep-rooted stereotypes and misconceptions that are used as excuses not to take action against psychosocial risks. And yet these risks, which have numerous consequences for workers’ physical and mental health, are everywhere in our workplaces: social isolation, overwork, unfairness, lack of autonomy, job insecurity… The list goes on. In this special report, we aim to illustrate the scale of this issue through a range of different investigations, interviews and expert opinions.
Pierre Bérastégui opens the report with an analysis that highlights the heterogeneity of the discourse surrounding the prevention of psychosocial risks. Hot on his heels, Nayla Glaise and Aude Cefaliello discuss the need for a European directive to curb the stress epidemic that is hitting the world of work. Laurent Vogel reviews the emblematic France Télécom case in which there was a wave of suicides among the company’s employees in the late 2000s. Next, we dive into the Spanish hotel industry, with a study by Bertha Chulvi which brings to light especially difficult working conditions. Thomas Coutrot explores the multidimensional problem of the meaninglessness of work, which can cause harm in many different areas of activity. Louise Pluyaud profiles ‘chief happiness officers’, a new, fashionable profession of questionable value. Alain Bloëdt tackles the tricky subject of burnout and its recognition as an occupational disease. Lastly, Marie Geredakis presents us with an examination of the highly precarious situation of university researchers in Greece, victims of a system in which disputes are governed by the law of the jungle and cronyism. If this report shows us anything, it is that psychosocial risks do not concern just one type of work, sector or class. If they are to be properly prevented, it is time to recognise their prevalence and multifariousness at every rung of the socioprofessional ladder.
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