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HSE Stress Risk Assessment

Identify work-related stress and anxiety with paperless stress risk assessments

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.

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.

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?

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 iAuditor can help your teams conduct more efficient stress risk assessments and easily monitor the effectiveness of controls being implemented.

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 iAuditor. These templates have been built as a starting guide from resources from the HSE and other sources.

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.