Work related stress

The problem

Statistics released by HSE highlighted that more than 11 million working days were lost to work-related stress in all industries in 2008, costing businesses an estimated £4 billion. Consequently HSE urges employers to take positive steps to prevent work-related stress by using its Management Standards.

No data is available for the prevalence of work-related stress in the food and drink manufacturing industries. However work related stress is often cited as a cause of mental ill health. Mental ill health accounts for around 30% of cases of occupational ill health in food and drink manufacture and was the third highest incidence rate (out of seven categories) reported in some large companies by the Food Industry Medical Association (2005).

Causes of work related stress

  • Stress is a significant occupational health risk. There is a clear link between poor organisation and subsequent ill health.
  • Pressure in itself is not necessarily bad and many people thrive on it. It is when pressure experienced by an individual exceeds their ability to cope with it that ill health problems can result.
  • Work related stress caused by excessive work demands, lack of control over work etc. is often cited as a cause of mental ill health.

Further guidance


Work related stress - together we can tackle it

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Updated 2023-06-15