Published 25 Nov 2020
What is a Stress Risk Assessment?
A stress risk assessment is a systematic process of identifying and evaluating factors that can cause work-related stress for employees. Carrying out stress risk assessments can help protect worker health and enabling employees to manage work-related stress better can also increase overall business productivity.
Use this workplace stress risk assessment to determine whether the cause of stress is because of work demands, management and control, support, relationships, role and change. This record can be used as basis for leaders to reflect what actions plans they need to take to lessen work stress.
What is the Purpose of a Stress Risk Assessment?
According to the U.K. Health and Safety Executive (HSE), work-related stress, depression, or anxiety accounts for 51% of all work-related ill health across Great Britain. Occupations most affected remain in the health and public sectors. The primary contributing factors include workload, lack of managerial support and organizational change.
Is a Stress Risk Assessment a Legal Requirement?
The HSE estimates that stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 17.9 million work days lost annually across Great Britain in 2019/20. Employers in the U.K. have a legal duty to carry out stress risk assessments to protect employees from stress at work before it elevates into more serious issues, including taking proactive measures to ensure they do not suffer stress related illness as a result of their work.
How to Effectively Perform a Stress Risk Assessment
The steps in conducting a stress risk assessment are similar to those of a common risk assessment. The difference between the two lies in the stress-inducing factors. Below is a step-by-step guide on how you can perform a stress risk assessment in your workplace:
Step 1: Identify the factors
Identifying workplace stressors can be determined in a number of ways: by doing a walk around observation in the workplace or examining records of employee absences or performance reviews, exit interviews, customer feedback, employee questionnaires, focus groups, etc. By doing this, you may discover problems that often get overlooked. For example, excessive absences may reveal overwhelming workload or toxic relationships between a colleague or manager.
Step 2: Determine who it affects and how
Once you determine that your staff is suffering from work-related stress the next step is to analyze the workplace stressors identified. Consult employees and gather data through a survey.
Step 3: Assess the risks and take precautions
This step is where you start analyzing and interpreting the identified stress-inducing factors of your assessment and determine the corrective actions to take. Evaluate how serious the stressors are and determine the consequences it brings towards the organization and business. Evaluating the threats can help you prioritize and solve them appropriately from most severe to least severe.
Step 4: Document the assessment
Record your findings and the next steps to take. This will serve not only as proof that the stress risk assessment was carried out, but also a basis for later review.
Step 5: Review and update
The final step is to regularly evaluate the assessment. Evaluate whether initiatives taken have been effective in preventing or reducing stress in the organization, if not then it may need updating.
Using a Stress Risk Assessment Template
A stress risk assessment template is a tool used by employers as a guide in performing stress risk assessments. Use a workplace stress risk assessment questionnaire which consists of questions such as:
- How much work is there?
- Are staff comfortable with the amount of work?
- Is the intensity of the workload too great for individuals?
- Are there set time scales for workload- are these too much/ too little time to achieve?
- Is there consistency and clarity in the job role- do the team members have to provide work to different groups of staff?
SafetyCulture (iAuditor) as a Workplace HSE Stress Risk Assessment Tool
Carrying out paper-based stress risk assessments can be time-consuming and inefficient. Using a mobile inspection platform like SafetyCulture (iAuditor) can help your teams conduct more efficient stress risk assessments and easily monitor the effectiveness of controls being implemented.
SafetyCulture (iAuditor) is the world’s #1 cloud-based inspection software and is used by businesses worldwide to perform paperless risk assessments and inspections. Stress risk assessments can be performed on your hand-held device with PDF reports generated instantly and all data securely saved online.
Get started by downloading from these pre-built stress risk assessment templates converted into SafetyCulture (iAuditor). These templates have been built as a starting guide from resources from the HSE and other sources.
4 of the Best Stress Risk Assessment Templates
This HSE stress risk assessment template is used to identify work-related stress, anxiety and depression across your workplace employees. Use SafetyCulture (iAuditor) to record stress-causing factors, improve employee morale, boost job productivity and create a safer and stress-free environment. Please see reference.
This HSE Return to Work questionnaire is used to determine work-related stress or outside of work factors which may have caused an employee to underperform and lose motivation to work. This template is divided into 7 categories to identify the main causes of stress among the employees.