Stress at work


Work-related stress is defined by the Work Health Organization as “the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope”.

The UK Health and Safety Executive has identified the main work-related stress factors as:

  • work demands
  • employee control
  • employee support
  • role
  • change
  • relationships.

IOSH activities

As part of our Occupational health toolkit, IOSH has produced guidance on managing stress, which includes links to a range of additional resources.

We have been actively collaborating with key stakeholders to influence developments in the area of stress management:

  • In March 2017 we were represented at a UK summit hosted by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, where ideas on good practice were shared and we were able to highlight our current research in the topic area
  • We are working as a research partner with the UK’s Health and Safety Executive and the Health and Safety Laboratory in the development of resources around the topic to join the suite already available: HSE’s Stress management standards, Line manager competency indicator tool and case studies
  • IOSH is represented on the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) Health Risks Working Group and its sub-group on stress. To direct the thinking of that sub-group
    • IOSH Construction Group members were surveyed on stress
    • a number of organisations have offered to share their findings on using the HSE’s stress management standards, which will be brought together for a “state of the industry” stress risk assessment.

Wider resources

If you’re looking for general guidance on the topic of the management of work related stress, visit:

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