Fit to work

Dedicated to the health of all workers

Occupational stress has been a long-standing concern of the health care industry. Studies indicate that health care workers have higher rates of substance abuse and suicide than other professions and elevated rates of depression and anxiety linked to job stress.

The longer he waited, the more David worried. For weeks he had been plagued

by aching muscles, loss of appetite, restless sleep, and a complete sense of

Psychosocial risks and work-related stress are among the most challenging issues in occupational safety and health.

  • Work is good for mental health but a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems.

“The Department of Health and the Confederation of British Industry, using different definitions, estimate that between 15% and 20% of employees will experience some form of mental health difficulty during their working lives, with depression representing the largest percentage of this problem.”

Absences relating to mental illness, including depression, impact on every workplace. Depression is characterised by symptoms including: sadness; loss of interest or pleasure; feelings of guilt or low self worth; disturbed sleep; and appetite changes.

OH has a key role in supporting people with depression in the workplace, collaborating with HR, line managers and primary care. Jodie Aldridge and Anne Harriss explore this area of OH’s public health role.

Burnout has been defined as a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stresses on the job. It manifests itself as exhaustion, cynicism, and diminished professional efficacy.

Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism and ineffectiveness in the workplace, and by chronic negative responses to stressful workplace conditions.