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More and more people are dying due to stress at work


The number of deaths caused by noise, asbestos and passive smoking is decreasing.

However, the number of deaths due to work-related stress increases, and about 500 people die every year, according to new reports from the Swedish Administration for the Environment.

"It's about a few thousand people who have a short life for reasons we can prevent," says Bengt Jarvholm, professor of labor medicine and environmental protection at Umea University, one of the report's authors.

Every year 40-60 people die in accidents related to work in Sweden. The number of accidents in the workplace has decreased by 25 percent over the past ten years, but on the other hand, work-related illnesses still represent the death of thousands of people a year.

– Fatal accidents at work
always dramatic and gets a lot of attention. But in the shadow of the accident
Many more people die from diseases that can be associated with work. Often
Deaths occur much later, sometimes 20-30 years after they are on it
dangerous workplace. Employers must systematically prevent both
fatal accidents and work environment risks that lead to long term poor health,
says Erna Zelmin-Ekenhem, general manager of the Swedish Environment Management Authority.

In the name of
The Swedish Environment Management Authority has calculated to the researchers how many lives are shortened
risk factors in the work environment every year. The researchers' calculations show this
exposure to risk factors such as stress, shift work, exhaust gases, noise, etc.
Permanent, physically difficult work each year collects more than 500 people's lives

Other factors include dust, asbestos, quartz and passive smoking
also each of 100 to 500 deaths related to work per year
Sweden. It is estimated that the number of deaths due to these risk factors is decreasing
Mortality associated with work due to stress increases in the future.

– It's extremely important
knowledge, because it involves several thousand people who get their lives
shortened for reasons we can prevent. We point out some new ones
mortality risks in which knowledge is uncertain, but where is the effect
Preventive measures can be large, as they are constantly physically difficult
Bengt Jarvholm, professor of professional and
Environmental Medicine at Umea University, which is one of the authors
statements of knowledge.

Today's work is related
Mortality is the result of yesterday's and today's working environment. many
Work-related deaths are caused by the fact that many people are exposed to low levels
or moderate risks, but for a long time, while the number of people
exposed to the greatest risk is little. The researcher's calculations are based on one
a set of data from previous research and several different registers. They watched
the existence of different work environment risks in today's work environment and calculate
the effect that these risks contribute to the future mortality associated with the job.

– Many of today's
Work-related deaths are a consequence of everything in the past
asbestos use. In the future it is estimated that asbestos-related mortality is decreasing
It is expected that work-related stress in the future will have much more life, says Bengt

It says that long-term stress is harmful and it is important to ensure that you recover from stressful periods.
– If you have an understanding of that, there is actually a whole man. The supervisor has an important role to play and can see how the resources are beneficial and that the workload is reasonable and that it is not constantly added to more tasks. The employee can raise the problem and hope to listen to the supervisor. It is also important to look at the home environment, so there is no stress there.


  • The overall survey data on the work environment, Statistics of the Swedish / Swedish working environment agency, show that the frequency of work-related stress has increased significantly since the early 1980s, and researchers believe that stress-related mortality will continue to grow.

  • Data processing on perceived stress in various occupations in Sweden before the 1990s shows that the proportion of people experiencing negative stress increased from 13 per cent to 22 per cent between 1981 and 2000.
  • The biggest increase in stress was experienced by employees in shops, hotels and restaurants, as well as in health, care and education, where all the changes were statistically significant.
  • Analyzes also showed that women are significantly more exposed to negative stress than men. Stress at work measured in research on the work environment for 2015 and 2017 was recorded in 33% of women and 20% of men.

Source: Mortality related to work in Sweden

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