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6 out of 10 People Cite Work as Main Source of Stress

It used to be enough to protect workers from getting physically injured on the job—but not anymore. Now, employers are also expected to protect their worker’s mental health, at least to some extent. And studies have shown a connection between mental health and chronic stress. So it’s important for safety coordinators to understand the sources—and costs—of workers’ stress.

StatsCan Report

In Oct. 2011, Statistics Canada released a report on the main sources of stress among workers. The report notes that in 2010, about 27% of working adults—roughly 3.7 million Canadians—described their lives on most days as “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful. Another 6.3 million (46%) said they were “a bit” stressed.

Among highly stressed workers, 62% identified work as the main source of their stress. Other main sources of stress cited by these workers were:

  • Financial concerns (12%)
  • Not having enough time (12%)
  • Family matters (8%); and
  • Personal and other issues (6%).

Research shows that stress-related physical and mental health issues cost employers billions in workers’ comp claims and lost productivity. For example, the report says mental health problems are estimated to cost employers about $20 billion annually and account for over three-quarters of short-term disability claims in Canada.

OHS Resources

For more information about psychological safety in the workplace, go to our Psychological Safety Compliance Center, which includes tools such as a stress prevention at work checklist, psychological harassment policy and an infographic.