Work Related Stress and Healthcare


Stress is not a disease or injury but it can lead to mental and physical ill health.

The causes of work related stress can be many and varied, but can be broadly classified into 3 groups.

  1. Stress from doing the job - caused for example by monotonous work, too much work or insufficient time.
  2. Stress from work relationships - due for example to poor teamwork, complex hierarchies of authority, working in isolation or bullying and harassment.
  3. Stress from working conditions - due for example to shift work, dealing with life - threatening injuries, illnesses and patient deaths or the threat of violence and aggression.

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, requires employers to put in place systems of work which protect employees from hazards which could lead to mental or physical ill-health. There is an obligation on employers to risk assess all known hazards including psychosocial hazards, which might lead to stress.

Risk assessment for stress involves the same basic principles and processes as for other workplace hazards. The hazard must be identified, the risk assessed and control measures identified, implemented and evaluated.

See the HSA's Work Positive Tool for help in identifying stressors in your workplace.

Further Information