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Introduction to this document

Occupational stress

The HSE defines stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”. So to ensure this doesn’t happen you need to identify what could cause this, and then take steps to minimise the risks.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards and appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Occupational Stress document. It covers the generic causes of stress at work and suggests control measures to reduce the risks to an acceptable level.

You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” causes of stress. Research has shown that feeling stressed at work is not confined to particular occupations or levels within organisations. Workers with management responsibilities also show stress symptoms. Different individuals may react differently to stress and the same person may react differently to stress at different times.

Always ensure any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”.  

Note. The list of potential stress hazards is not exhaustive. For your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” stress related hazards found in your workplace.