HSE Report – Work Related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2016:
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Work-related stress remains one of the top causes of sickness absence according to latest statistics.
Work-related stress, depression or anxiety is defined as a harmful reaction people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work.
The latest figures on stress for Great Britain reveal that, in 2015/16, it accounted for 37% of all work related ill-health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to illness.
In a recent report published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the statistics also show that the total number of cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety over that period was 488,000. That equates, the HSE points out, to a prevalence rate of 1510 per 100,000 workers.
There were 224,000 new cases in 2015/16 – an incidence rate of 690 per 100,000 workers.
Overall, 11.7 million working days were lost due to work-related stress during 2015/16, equivalent to an average of 23.9 days lost per case. The HSE notes that working days lost per worker showed a generally downward trend to around 2009/10, since when the rate has been broadly flat.
Stress is more prevalent in public service industries, the HSE points out, including education, health and social care, defense and public administration.
According to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the predominant cause of work-related stress is workload and particularly very tight deadlines, too much work, or too much pressure or responsibility.
A lack of managerial support, organisational changes at work, violence, and a lack of clarity about a job have also been identified as factors leading to stress.
Compared with all workplaces combined, small enterprises had significantly lower rates of workplace stress anxiety and depression, the HSE highlighted, with medium and large enterprises having significantly higher rates.
Work-related stress is defined as a harmful reaction that people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work. By its very nature, stress is difficult to measure and the HSE has two different data sources from which to conduct analysis. The preferred data source used by the HSE for calculating rates and estimates for stress, depression or anxiety is the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The LFS is a household survey consisting of around 38,000 households per quarter across Great Britain which provides information about the labour market. The HSE commissions a module 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 (total cases) of self-reported work-related illness during the previous 12 months, which includes long standing and new cases. It also provides estimates of work-related illness in the same period and of annual working days lost due to work-related illness. Estimates and rates relate to people working in the previous 12 months. Statistics presented in this document are based on the LFS data, unless otherwise specified.
In addition to the LFS, the HSE also collects data on work-related stress through the Health and Occupation Research network for general practitioners (THOR-GP) across Great Britain. This network asks reporting general practitioners 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. The two data sources may reflect different perceptions of work related attribution to individual cases.
Longitudinal studies and systematic reviews have indicated that stress at work is driven largely by psychosocial factors and is associated with common conditions such as heart disease and anxiety and depression and may play a role in some forms of musculoskeletal disorders.
The Report looks at:
Prevalence and incidence rates of stress, depression or anxiety caused or made worse by work.
Days lost due to work related stress, depression or anxiety in 2015/16
Work related stress anxiety and depression rates by industry group.
Work related stress by broad occupational category.
Work related stress within the category of professional occupations.
Work related stress rates by age and gender.
Work related stress for small, medium and large enterprises.
Self-reported stress, depression or anxiety rates.
Analysis of mental ill-health reported cases.
A pdf file copy of the Report is attached.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
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Attachment 1 – LTB068/17 HSE Report – Work Related Stress, Anxiety and Depression Statistics in Great Britain 2016: