Stress and Bullying in the Workplace

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2005, an employer has a duty to provide safe systems at work.  This extends to obligations which ensure that the employer addresses the threat of stress and bullying in the workplace.


Bullying At Work:

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2005 provides that a risk assessment should be carried out by an employer in the place of work to ensure that the risks associated with bullying are clearly highlighted.  The next step once the risks have been highlighted is to implement procedures or preventative measures to seek to eliminate the risk or to reduce it to an acceptable level.


Stress At Work:

This Health and Safety Authority defines workplace stress as “when the demands of the job and the working environment on a person exceed their capacity to meet them”.  The Health and Safety Authority identifies the following scenarios which could trigger the onset of work-related stress:


  • Poor communication at work
  • Poor working relationships
  • Poorly organised shift-work
  • Faulty work organisation
  • Ill-defined work roles
  • Lack of personal control over work
  • Machine-paced work
  • Highly demanding tasks
  • Dull repetitive work
  • Dealing directly with the public


Employers have both a statutory and a common law duty of care to protect their staff from bullying and stress in the work place.  Where an employee feels that they are being bullied by a fellow employee or supervisor, proper reporting procedures should be clearly in place and these should be made available to each and every employee. The failure of an employer to properly implement correct and preventative measures or the failure to have proper reporting procedures clearly communicated to the employees could lead to an occupational injury at work claim from an employee.


If you feel you are the victim of bullying or stress at work, please contract us at to arrange a consultation.

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