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2018 Work-related stress

Learn about the latest work-related stress, anxiety and depression statistics

The latest annual injury and ill health statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been published. These annual statistics compiled by the HSE from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, cover work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, costs to Britain and enforcement action taken.

The 2017/18 figures show that 1.4 million workers were suffering from work related ill-health and there were 555,000 workplace injuries. Accounting for approximately 26.8 million working days lost to work-related ill-health.

A subsidiary report focuses on work-related stress, depression or anxiety (SDA). Over the same time period 595,000 workers reported they were suffering from work-related SDA (new or long-standing). The study also found that 15.4 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. The previous year reported 12.5 million.

2018 work-related stress, depression or anxiety summarised in seven points 1. Working days lost due to stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% (previous report 40%) of all work-related ill-health cases and 57% (previous 49%) of all working days lost due to ill.

2. The main work factors cited by respondents as causing work-related stress, depression or anxiety were work-load pressures, including tight deadlines, too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support (2009/10-2011/12)

3. The general practitioners network (2013-2015) undertook an analysis of work-related mental ill-health cases by precipitating events and diagnosis. They concluded that workload pressures were the predominant factor, in agreement with the LFS, with work relationships and changes at work significant factors too.

4. Professional occupations had a statistically significantly higher rate of work-related stress than other types of jobs. For the three-year period averaged over 2015/16-2017/18, the Professional occupations category had 2,090 (2,010) cases per 100,000 workers compared with 1,320 (1,230) cases for all occupational groups. 5. In the three year period 2015/16-2017/18 the average prevalence of work-related SDA for males was 1,370 (1,170) cases and for females 1,950 (1,880) cases per 100,000 workers. During this period females had a statistically significantly higher rate than males. 6. For males, the 16-24 years (760 cases) per 100,000 and those over 55 years (1,090 cases) had statistically significantly lower relates than all persons (1,640 per 100,000 workers) combined in this period. 7. For females too the 16-24 years categories (1,250 cases) were statistically significantly lower than the rate for all persons. Females in categories 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 years had significantly higher rates than for all persons (2,080, 2,490 and 2,120 per 100,000 workers).

Data sources

The HSE's work-related stress, depression or anxiety statistics are created using two different data sources.

The preferred data source is the Labour Force Survey; a quarterly household survey of around 38,000 households (increased from 37,000 in previous year) across Great Britain which provides information about the labour market. HSE commissions a suite of questions in the LFS to gain a view of work-related illness based on individuals’ perceptions. The LFS provides national estimates and corresponding rates of the overall prevalence of self-reported work-related illness (both long standing and new cases) during the previous 12 months.

In addition to the LFS, HSE also gathers information on work-related stress through the Health and Occupation Research Network for general practitioners across Great Britain. This network asks reporting GPs to assess whether new cases of mental ill-health presented in their surgeries are work-related, and if so, what was the work-related cause of this disorder.


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