Controlling the risk of stress

Six ways managers and employers can facilitate a work culture which minimises the risk of stress

Optometrists at work

The Health and Safety Executive’s ‘Management Standards’ define the characteristics, or culture, of an organisation where the risks from work related stress are being effectively managed and controlled.

The standards cover six key areas of work design that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and wellbeing, lower productivity and increased sickness absence. In other words, the six Management Standards cover the primary sources of stress at work. These are:

  1. Demands – this includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment

  2. Control – how much say the person has in the way they do their work

  3. Support – this includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues

  4. Relationships – this includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour

  5. Role – whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles

  6. Change – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation

This page contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence.