Stress is an adverse reaction that some people have to excessive pressure or other demands placed on them. It may be caused by things at work, outside work or both. An estimated half a million UK workers believe they have been made ill by work related stress - that's as many as one in five. Stress is not an illness but it can lead to increased problems with ill health, if it is prolonged or particularly intense. Physical effects include:
Mental effects include:
Employers have a duty to make sure employees aren't made ill by their work. Where stress caused or made by work could lead to ill health, employers must assess the risk. A risk assessment for stress involves:
If necessary, you must then take reasonable steps to deal with these pressures. Act now as prevention is better than cure.
You can see more information on the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk/stress/index.htm .