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Stress Prevention and Management

To be read in conjunction with

Stress Prevention and Management SOP

Approval Date
12 September 2016
Approved By
Chief Executive
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria
Workforce focus

This policy is designed to ensure that stress is prevented and managed for Otago Polytechnic Limited staff.


Health and Safety at Work 2015 Act and associated Regulations and Amendments

If a breach of this legislation is proven, Otago Polytechnic Limited and/or the individuals involved may be liable for significant financial penalties.

Worksafe New Zealand Occupational Safety and Health information sheets:

  • Healthy Work – Managing Stress and fatigue in the workplace
  • Shift Work – Managing shift work to minimise workplace fatigue.


1.         Otago Polytechnic Limited intends to create and maintain a healthy work environment which is conducive with high levels of staff wellbeing:

1.1          Workloads will be managed through policy Workload Planning and Management and associated operating procedure Workload Planning and Management to ensure work is fair and equitable.

1.2          Formal Leaders will treat individuals with respect and fairness.

1.3          Individuals with treat each other with respect and maintain professional working relationships.

1.4          If an individual believes he or she is stressed in a way that may affect their work performance, there is a responsibility to report this to their Leader and seek assistance.

1.5          Work environment surveys will be undertaken.

1.6          There will be monitoring of indicators of stress e.g., absenteeism, incident reporting, high staff turnover, complaints and other behaviours which may indicate high stress levels.

2.         All Formal Leaders will undergo training in stress prevention and management.

3.         Complaints regarding work-related stress will be handled by the Formal Leader and where appropriate People and Culture.

4.         Formal Leaders will intervene promptly when stress or impairment is identified (refer to flow chart in SOP).

5.         Staff are expected to participate in the process of identification and investigation of stressors, the problem-solving process and where appropriate any rehabilitation following significant stress.

6.         Where there is an unresolved or ongoing issue of stress, the Director People and Culture will appoint an appropriate investigator to assess the matter.

7.         If there is a medical diagnosis referring to work-related stress, it is important that the diagnosis is accurate, and treatment is effective. To ensure such cases are managed appropriately and in a timely manner (i.e., to gain a successful outcome/return to health), further specialist advice may be sought from a registered medical practitioner at the request and cost of Otago Polytechnic Ltd.

8.         Following investigation, a decision will be made whether the stress-related impairment is accepted or not accepted as work-related.

9.         Regardless of cause, Otago Polytechnic Ltd is committed to a constructive and supportive process of investigation, problem solving and rehabilitation. Following this a formal rehabilitation plan will be put in place.

10.     The attached flowcharts indicate the likely process that will be followed:

  • Facilitated problem solving approach (SOP)
  • Formal investigation process (SOP)