The Legislative Decree 81/08 lays down the obligation for employers to include among the evaluated risks even those ascribable to work-related stress according to Framework Agreement signed by the European social partners in October 2004. This Agreement defines stress as «a state, which is accompanied by physical, psychological or social complaints or dysfunctions and which results from individuals feeling unable to bridge a gap with the requirements or expectations placed on them». The psychological approach adopted in this definition tends to focus on elements related to cognitive assessments and individual characteristics which may lead to neglecting harmful aspects for the workers’ well-being due to the unsuitability of organizational decisions. This article aims to highlight the importance of organizational choices in the emergence of these new risks through the results of a study conducted on a group of workers of a local health authority in northern Italy.
Keywords: Work related stress, prevention, health sector, organization, risks assessment, occupational safety