Stress Risk Assessment


The CIPD says every organisation should carry out a risk assessment on work-related stress across their workforce. This is a statutory duty but should also be seen by employers as a preventative measure


Stress is a hazard in the workplace just like any other and must be risk assessed like any other hazard.

Stress can manifest itself in many ways – some that may not be obvious!

How many times a day do we hear someone say “This is stressing me out” or “I am so stressed!” What do we really mean? Are we really stressed or just under pressure? To answer that question requires us to know exactly what stress is, or more to the point – as an employer you need to know exactly what stress is and how you should be managing stress at work.

Stress is defined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as

“The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.”

Stress is not an illness – it is a state. When pressure becomes too excessive or prolonged, mental and physical illness may develop (that’s the adverse reaction otherwise known as stress).

Tonic believes that stress is the single most concerning health and safety issue in the workplace in recent times, now more than ever post the pandemic

And as an employer you must fulfil your legal duties and tackle the sources of stress at work.

Stress is a major cause of sickness absence in the workplace and costs billions a year in Great Britain. Figures vary from £5 million to £4 billion depending on where you look! The point is it is massive and it affects us all. Individuals, our families and our colleagues through its impact on health. It also affects employers by creating costs relating to sickness absence, replacement staff, lost production and increased accidents. (HSE 2019)

Isn’t it time you competed a Stress Risk Assessment (SRA)?

WHAT is a SRA?

A stress risk assessment is a careful examination of what in a workplace could cause staff to suffer from work-related stress, so that you can weigh up whether you have done enough, or should do more to prevent harm. It is a process which requires management support. We can fully manage this proves for you.

We take these 5 simple steps:

Step 1 – Identify the hazards.
Step 2 – Decide who might be harmed and how.
Step 3 – Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.
Step 4 – Record your findings and implement them.
Step 5 – Review your assessment and update if necessary.


We hope the reasons above are enough and ultimately, the best way to find out what concerns are causing employees stress is to ask them.

If you need more reasons….

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health of their employees at work. This includes taking steps to make sure they do not suffer stress-related illness as a result of their work.

Employers also have a specific duty under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to undertake risk assessments that seek to identify, and eliminate or reduce, risks to their employees’ health, safety and welfare. Stress is one of the risks to health, safety and welfare that must be assessed.

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental and/ or emotional pressure. It can affect how we feel, think, behave and how our body & mind works. For common signs of stress see our posters below:

Remember, stress can also manifest itself at an individual level and/or team level.
Common indicators include marked changes in behaviour, increased sickness absence, poor timekeeping, or a drop in performance.
This is exactly why the CIPD says every organisation should assess and tackle work-related stress, starting with a SRA.

Physical and Emotional Effects of Stress

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