Report Commissioned by the International Labour Organization

The cost of violence/stress at work and the benefits of a violence/stress-free working environment

This report explores the issues of stress and violence at work with the aim of establishing the costs these problems may present to the individual, the organisation and society.

This report will explore the problems of stress and various forms of violence at the beginning of the new millennium and the relationship between them. The main focus will be on the cost of stress/violence. To establish the cost a clear indication of the possible effects of stress and violence is needed. In order to put organisations into action such an exploration needs to be comprehensive in the sense that it includes not only the costs to the individual but also the potential costs to the organisations. Moreover, in order to gain the attention of policy providers, the costs to society should also be emphasized.

In spite of numerous pitfalls in the research on stress and violence at work, (particularly of a conceptual and methodological nature), and utilizing the often far from perfect data, it is attempted to put a price on the problems. To support this attempt, some simple methods of cost-calculation are introduced.

As the primary aim of this report is to bring about change, interventions will also be discussed. Progress on intervention with regard to stress and various forms of violence will be evaluated and where relevant, good examples of successful interventions will be presented.

However, before discussing the problems of workplace stress and violence, some factors and trends which are likely to affect the presence and scale of violence at work will be briefly highlighted.
Los cinco estudios de caso -realizados en Camerún, Colombia, Indonesia, Filipinas y Túnez- describen la situación de la seguridad y la salud en el trabajo (SST) en las mipymes y las iniciativas adoptadas en este ámbito.

Los estudios de casos que se presentan en esta publicación se desarrollaron a lo largo del primer año del proyecto de la OIT Mantenimiento de mecanismos sostenibles para promover la seguridad y salud en el trabajo en las pequeñas y medianas empresas (Upholding sustainable delivery mechanisms to promote occupational safety and health in small and medium sized enterprises).

Los cinco estudios de caso tienen como objectivo:

• describir el contexto nacional en relación con las mipymes (por ejemplo, la definición nacional, su presencia y su papel en la economía nacional);
• proporcionar una visión general de las condiciones de SST en las mipymes del país;
• ilustrar el marco nacional relevante para la SST en las mipymes, incluyendo la identificación de los actores clave, las políticas y estrategias nacionales, etc.;
• analizar las iniciativas sobre SST desarrolladas a nivel nacional, sectorial y local dirigidas a las mipymes;
• identificar las enseñanzas extraídas y las oportunidades de mejora de la SST en las mipymes y ampliar las buenas prácticas.

Esta publicación complementa el informe "Improving Safety and Health in Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: An overview of initiatives and delivery mechanisms", en el que se analizan ejemplos de mecanismos de apoyo e iniciativas que los gobiernos y otros agentes utilizan para promover la seguridad y la salud en las mipymes.