Last updated April 2019
This chapter explains the causes of work-related stress and how to meet your obligations to minimise the risk of stress in your workplace.
Under health and safety legislation in all jurisdictions, you have a duty to take practical steps to ensure that your systems of work and working environment are safe and without risks to health. Risks to health include psychological harm from work-related stress.
Work-related stress is stress for which work is a significant contributing factor.
Stress can affect different people in different ways. Personal factors can influence how stress affects each individual, including:
- biological makeup, e.g. genetic predisposition towards depression or anxiety;
- psychological profile, e.g. personality attributes such as self-confidence, attitude and mental resilience; and
- social framework, e.g. social support networks and an ability to ‘switch off’ from the stress by engaging in other activities.
- presenteeism, i.e. when a worker shows up to work while they are unwell or unable to perform their work; and
- absenteeism, i.e. when a worker repeatedly misses work.