The Health and Safety Executive defines stress as the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them. A certain amount of stress is a good thing and many people work better under pressure. The important thing is to get the balance right. Research suggests that 1 in 5 workers suffer from stress at work. The affects of stress include sleep problems, increased alcohol consumption and numerous illnesses, including high blood pressure and depression, and can result in more workplace accidents and higher levels of absence. In 2006/7, 13.8 million days were lost because of stress, depression and anxiety. On average, each case of stress-related ill health leads to 30 lost working days. This sets the British economy back at least £5 billion in sick pay, lost production and costs to the NHS, and costs employers around £530 million.
Claims of stress
An individual can bring a claim for personal injury as a result of stress if he can show negligence or breach of statutory duty, by establishing that: