HSE management standards and stress-related work outcomes

Occup Med (Lond). 2009 Dec;59(8):574-9. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqp146. Epub 2009 Oct 7.


Background: The UK Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Management Standards (MS) approach has been developed to help organizations manage potential sources of work-related stress. Although there is general support for the assessment model adopted by this approach, to date, there has been no empirical investigation of the relationship between the actual MS (as measured by the final revised version of the HSE Indicator Tool) and stress-related work outcomes.

Aims: To investigate the relationship between the HSE MS and the following stress-related work outcomes: 'job satisfaction', job-related anxiety and depression and errors/near misses.

Methods: An anonymous cross-sectional questionnaire was distributed by either e-mail or post to all employees within a community-based Health and Social Services Trust. Respondents completed the HSE Indicator Tool, a job-related anxiety and depression scale, a job satisfaction scale and an aggregated measure of the number of errors/near misses witnessed. Associations between the HSE Indicator Tool responses and stress-related work outcomes were analysed with regression statistics.

Results: A total of 707 employees completed the questionnaire, representing a low response rate of 29%. Controlling for age, gender and contract type, the HSE MS (as measured by the HSE Indicator Tool) were positively associated with job satisfaction and negatively associated with 'job-related anxiety', 'job-related depression' and 'witnessed errors/near misses'.

Conclusions: This study provides empirical evidence to support the use of the MS approach in tackling workplace stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Professional Competence / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult