Taking Action on Workplace Stress

January 25, 2018 – Hamilton, ON – Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

Just in time for the fifth anniversary of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) have collaborated to create StressAssess, a free online survey tool to assist workplaces in identifying and addressing psychosocial hazards that can lead to stress and mental injury.

StressAssess provides workplaces with an internationally recognized survey tool to anonymously, collectively, and confidentially gather information about current work conditions and psychosocial hazards. Administrators deploying the survey in their workplace will be guided through a five step process supported by instructions, templates, and reminders. Upon completion of the survey, a summary report is provided. Along with comparisons against validated national averages, it includes practical ideas for action to help workplaces address identified concerns.

While the survey tool is meant to diagnose the workplace (not the worker), the website also includes a personal edition for individuals interested in measuring their own personal level and sources of stress.

StressAssess is available at www.stressassess.ca and a mobile app version is currently in development.


“Workplace stress is a serious health and safety hazard that can take a significant toll on worker health. It is particularly challenging to address because it does not fit into traditional hazard categories such as chemical, musculoskeletal, or slips and falls. This tool is a good starting point to begin the conversation, helping workplace parties take action on recognizing, assessing and preventing stress in their organization.”

- Valerie Wolfe, Executive Director, South Central Region, at the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

“CCOHS and OHCOW have shared a longstanding relationship over the years as we’ve collaborated on tools and resources aimed at affecting positive changes in workplaces across Canada. We look forward to continuing our relationship with OHCOW and to a future of supporting initiatives that keep workplaces healthy and safe.”

- Gareth Jones, Vice President, Operations at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

Quick Facts

  • StressAssess was developed by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW), with website and technical expertise from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). The StressAssess survey is based on the MIT-COPSOQ Survey which is a combination of the internationally recognized Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) and OHCOW's multi-stakeholder Mental Injury Toolkit.  
  • In 2016, OHCOW surveyed more than 4,000 Canadians in order to establish a representative baseline to which Canadian workplaces could be compared. Although 45% of respondents rated the psychological health and safety climate in their workplaces as “supportive” or “good”, the results also indicated a need for improvement: 10% of workers in Canada rated their work climate as “poor” or “toxic”.
  • Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) is a pro-active team of health and safety professionals committed to promoting the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being for workers and their communities. OHCOW strives to accomplish this through the identification of workplace factors which are detrimental to the health and well-being of all workers, through the distribution of excellent occupational health, hygiene, and ergonomic information to increase knowledge among workers, employers and the general public; and through the provision of services designed to produce changes to improve workplaces and the health of workers.

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