Mental stress and stress prevention among female sales staff in meat-processing businesses

Project No. BGAG 7600100608


completed 12/2004


The project analysed the mental stress, i.e. the task-induced stressors and stress, experienced by female sales personnel in meat-processing businesses. Possible relationships between occupational accidents and stress at work were then analysed. The objective was the development of practical stress-prevention aids for employers.


A literature study of the above subject has been performed. In addition to inspections of businesses and partly standardized interviews with female sales staff, a standardized questionnaire was also conducted.


The statistical results show that a relationship exists between "interruptions to work" and a "negative working atmosphere" on the one hand and the stress experienced by female sales staff in meat-processing businesses and the incidence of irritation on the other. Irritation is an impairment of the mental state which can be classified as being between mental fatigue and a mental illness. A statistical relationship likewise exists between irritation and the occupational accidents suffered by the female sales staff. A relationship was also demonstrated between the stressor of time pressure and the occupational accidents suffered. Unpleasant behaviour on the part of customers was also shown to lead directly to stress reactions on the part of the female sales staff (e.g. annoyance, nervousness, having to take a deep breath). No relationship was however shown between emotional dissonance and the stress (irritation) suffered by the female sales staff. The results further show that a relationship exists between the stress factors of "job insecurity" and "time pressure" on the one hand and negative job satisfaction on the other.

Last Update:

2 May 2016


Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Fleischerei-Berufsgenossenschaft
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut Arbeit und Gesundheit - BGAG

food industry

Type of hazard:

mental stress factors


mental strain/stress

Description, key words:

Relationships between work-related mental strain and the consequences for the health of business operators and sales personnel