Conducting a Stress Risk Assessment in the Workplace 

Stress is a normal part of life, but excess stress can have a negative impact on your health and well-being. Stress can also affect your work performance, productivity, and relationships.

As an employer, you have a legal duty to protect your employees from work-related stress. One way to do this is to conduct stress risk assessments for your employees. 

A stress risk assessment is a process of identifying and evaluating the risks of work-related stress to your employees. It also involves developing and implementing measures to reduce or eliminate these risks. 

Factors to consider when conducting a stress risk assessment  

  • The employee’s job role and responsibilities: Some job roles are more stressful than others. For example, jobs that involve high levels of responsibility, tight deadlines, or contact with difficult customers may be more stressful. 
  • The employee’s workload: If an employee is overloaded with work, this can lead to stress. 
  • The employee’s working conditions: Poor working conditions, such as inadequate lighting, noise, or heat, can also contribute to stress. 
  • The employee’s relationships with colleagues and managers: Poor relationships with colleagues or managers can be a major source of stress. 
  • The employee’s personal circumstances: Personal circumstances, such as financial problems, family health problems, or relationship problems, can also contribute to stress. 


Methods used to conduct a stress risk assessment  

  • Employee surveys: Employee surveys are a good way to collect data on the levels of stress in your workplace and to identify the sources of stress. 
  • Focus groups: Focus groups can be used to get in-depth feedback from employees about their experiences of stress at work. 
  • Interviews: Interviews can be used to gather information about individual employees’ job roles, workload, working conditions, relationships, and personal circumstances. 


After gathering sufficient information, you can start to identify and evaluate the risks of work-related stress. Once you have identified the risks of work-related stress, you can develop and implement measures to reduce or eliminate these risks. For example, you may need to: 

  • Reduce the employee’s workload: If the employee is overloaded with work, you may need to reduce their workload or provide them with additional support. 
  • Improve the employee’s working conditions: If the employee’s working conditions are poor, you may need to make improvements, such as providing better lighting, reducing noise, or improving the temperature. 
  • Improve the employee’s relationships with colleagues and managers: If the employee has poor relationships with colleagues or managers, you may need to provide mediation or training to improve communication and teamwork. 
  • Support the employee with their personal circumstances: If the employee is struggling with personal circumstances, such as financial problems, family health problems, or relationship problems, you may be able to provide them with support, such as access to employee assistance programs or other resources. 


Stress risk assessments are not a one-off process. They should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are effective and that they consider any changes in the employee’s job role, workload, working conditions, relationships, or personal circumstances. 

Additional considerations 

  • The employee’s age: Older employees may be more vulnerable to stress than younger employees. 
  • The employee’s gender: Women are more likely to report stress than men. 
  • The employee’s ethnicity: Some ethnic groups are more likely to experience stress than others. 
  • The employee’s disability status: Employees with disabilities may be more vulnerable to stress. 
  • The employee’s mental health history: Employees with a history of mental health problems may be more vulnerable to stress. 


It is important to consider all these factors when conducting a stress risk assessment to ensure that you are providing all your employees with adequate support. 

By conducting stress risk assessments for your employees, you can help to identify and reduce the risks of work-related stress. This can lead to several benefits, including: 

  • Reduced absenteeism and sickness rates 
  • Increased employee morale and productivity 
  • Improved employee retention 
  • Reduced risk of discrimination and harassment claims 


If you are not sure how to conduct a stress risk assessment, there are several resources available to help you. For example, in the UK, the HSE provides several guidance documents and tools on its website. 

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS topics, many of which cover stress at work 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment templates covering EHS hazards, including stress where relevant 
  • Management system to document control the policy on stress at work 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on stress at work 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving stress at work, both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding mental health to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 



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