Work-related stress is the second most commonly reported cause of occupational ill health in Great Britain, accounting for 44% of all work-related ill-health cases. It is also the most common reason that people are absent due to ill health, being responsible for 57% of all days taken off. This is why the HSE has made it one of their top priorities in the new Health and Work Strategy. Taking a pro-active approach to tackling this problem will help reduce absence, and improve staff morale and productivity, as well as saving businesses money.

The HSE states that “Well-designed, organised and managed work is good for us but when insufficient attention to job design, work organisation and management has taken place, it can result in work related stress.

Stress, including work related stress, can be a significant cause of illness and is known to be linked with high levels of sickness absence, staff turnover and other issues such as more errors.

Stress can hit anyone at any level of the business and recent research shows that work related stress is widespread and is not confined to particular sectors, jobs or industries. That is why a population-wide approach is necessary to tackle it.”

Taking Action on Stress

We’ve established that stress is a key problem when thinking about health and wellbeing in your organisation, but what can you do to combat it? There are a number of resources available to help deal with this issue. The HSE and MIND have an excellent selection of materials to help you deal with a range of mental health issues at work, including understanding your responsibilities, learning to support employees, and being open to communication. When surveys show that 30% of staff disagreed with the statement ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed’ it is evident that creating an environment where employees know that you are non-judgmental and supportive is essential.

As a health and safety consultancy, we take the issue of mental wellbeing very seriously. If you need help developing your policies and procedures, contact us at or on 0141 244 0181.