New work-related stress resources

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Refreshed policy and risk assessment guidance for preventing work-related stress

07 December 2020

Considering and reducing our levels of stress are particularly important within the context of the global pandemic, not least because of the additional pressures and challenges many of us face because of it, both in and out of work.

Focusing specifically on preventing stress arising from a work setting, Safety and Health Services has published an updated work-related stress policy and guidance for carrying out local risk assessments for work-related stress.

Defined by the HSE as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them,” work-related stress is a potential risk for staff at the University of Bristol if not well managed.

Prevention is key, and schools or services should carry out work-related stress risk assessments and action plans at a local level.

The work-related stress risk assessment enables local areas to consider both University-wide and local controls in place, assess the likelihood of harm occurring and identify if further measures are required to control these risks.

What’s changed

The work-related stress risk assessment guidance resource was updated in November 2020 and now contains simplified guidance and an updated template for the local area’s work-related stress risk assessment.

The template is pre-populated with organisational-level control measures that are applicable to all areas of the University. The local area should also add its own local control measures, and examples of these can be found within the guidance.

This guidance follows the HSE’s management standards for work-related stress and gives practical advice on meeting the requirements of the University’s work-related stress policy, which has also been updated.


Separate individual work-related stress guidance also exists for HR managers and line managers where individual cases of work related stress are confirmed or thought to be likely. This guidance can be used to help guide a conversation with a member of staff and agree practical steps to take.

For more information and advice, contact Jess Vance.

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