Employers are growing increasingly concerned at staff stress levels, putting the subject ahead of back pain or substance abuse as a health issue, according to research by The Industrial Society. Three out of every four employer questioned said they expected stress to become the main health and safety issue over the next two years.. However, only one third of the companies researched monitor workplace stress levels, while fewer than 30% have policies which are drafted to cover stress issues. "Employers are aware of stress," says project worker Pat McGuinness, "but they are still struggling to find ways of identifying and dealing with it. Having open lines of communication where employees believe they can freely acknowledge that they are under stress without fear of retribution can go some way to alleviating the problem." While 77% operate policies to promote health in the workplace, nearly two thirds of those questioned said they had no stress awareness coaching for staff. Eight per cent routinely train line managers in health promotion. More than 60% give written advice or provide health screening, while 50% provide a trained counsellor. Healthy eating options are offered in 46% of workplace canteens, mainly prompted by legislation. Nearly 40% said that employee healthcare is part of a balanced approach to managing a business. The report, Managing Best Practice ­ Promoting Well-Being, is available from The Industrial Society, price £60 + P&P. Point your web browser at www.indsoc.co.uk for details. {{PEOPLE MOVES }}