Introduction The Stress Check Program in Japan (SC), based on the Industrial Safety and Health Law, began on Dec 1, 2015. It requires an employer to
provide a survey of psychosocial stress for workers,
report to each individual worker his/her results,
arrange for an interview by a physician when requested to do so by a worker with high stress,
consider the opinions of the physician and improve working conditions for the worker, and
not take any action against the worker because he/she needs changes of his/her working conditions (Kawakami and Tsutsumi, 2016).
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan (MHLW) recommends an employer to assign an occupational health physician (OHP) to both the designated staff of the survey (DSS) and the interviewer (IVW).
Methods In June 2017, the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (Shimomitsu, et al., 2000) was used as the survey at several offices of a company in Japan, where one of the presenters is assigned to OHP, DSS, and IVW. The criteria for ‘high-stress’ was based on an example appeared in the manual by MHLW. A presenter (as DSS) sent e-mail to fifty ‘high-stress’ workers, offering the interview by him (as IVW) and promoting permanent health consultation services by him (as OHP) or by outsourcing psychologists. Then he described the responses from the workers for a month.
Results Three workers requested the interview. Other ten workers reported his/her state of health by e-mail, phone or permanent health consultation. Another worker was accidentally arranged health consultation by the boss, not reported the result of the survey, due to sickness absence.
Conclusion Though SC as single program has weak scientific evidence for reducing workers’ mental health problems; it may become more effective as a part of continuous occupational health promotion.
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