Psychometric analysis of the UK Health & Safety Executive management standards work-related stress indicator tool

Julian Edwards, S. Webster, Darren Van Laar, Simon Easton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerous tools have been developed that attempt to measure work-related stress and working conditions, but few practical instruments in the literature have been found to have a reliable psychometric factor structure. In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Management Standards (MS) Indicator Tool is increasingly used by organizations to monitor working conditions that can lead to stress. In Health and Safety Executive (2004), a factor analysis was conducted demonstrating the reliability of the scales. However, the authors acknowledged that direct reassessment of the same factor structure was impossible as the questionnaire was split into two separate modules for data collection. Furthermore, the tool is designed to enable comparisons between as well as within organizations to take place, yet reliability has only previously been tested at the individual level. The current study is the first to examine the factor structure of the HSE MS Indicator Tool using organizational-level data. Data collected from 39 UK organizations (N=26,382) was used to perform a first-order Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) on the original 35-item seven-factor measurement scale. The results showed an acceptable fit to the data for the instrument. A second-order CFA was also performed to test if the Indicator Tool contains a higher order uni-dimensional measure of work-related stress. These findings also revealed an acceptable fit to the data, suggesting that it may be possible to derive a single measure of work-related stress. Normative data comprising tables of percentiles from the organizational data are provided to enable employers to compare their organizational averages against national benchmarks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
JournalWork & Stress
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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