This cross-sectional study conducted between March and June 2006 examined stress at work and work ability of 180 people with different workplaces within an oil company. Office, laboratory, and oil-field workers were invited to complete the "Occupational Stress Assessment Questionnaire - the Oil Industry Version and Work Ability Index (WAI) Questionnaire". The overall response rate was 69.4 %, and the final sample size was 125 workers who completed the questionnaires (57 office, 41 laboratory, 27 oil-field workers). Office, laboratory, and oil-field workers differed significantly with respect to age (P<0.001). The oldest were oil-field workers and the youngest were office workers. The average WAI score for office workers was 44.9, for laboratory workers 43.2 and for field workers 39.7, indicating satisfying work ability. After adjusting for age, the difference in WAI score between the groups of workers was still significant (P<0.001). Over 75 % of all workers believed their job was stressful, but the perception of specific stressors depended on the workplace.
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