Under Pressure | Job Stress Prevention

According to Northwestern National Life, one-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Yet, workplace stress is often overlooked as a serious safety concern.

Job stress can cause workers to be distracted and lose focus at work, greatly increasing the risks of injury. Also, a worker’s emotional and physical health can be negatively impacted by unhealthy levels of stress. Stressed workers may seek relief through medication, drugs, or alcohol, which also can create new job hazards.

Common causes of job stress are:

  • Heavy workload;
  • Long work hours;
  • Job insecurity;
  • Unrealistic performance expectations;
  • Infrequent breaks;
  • Job requirements that don’t match the worker’s capabilities.

Warning signs of job stress include:

  • Fatigue or depression;
  • Anxiety or irritability;
  • Headaches or stomachaches;
  • Loss of concentration;
  • Low morale;
  • Sleep difficulties;
  • Workplace incidents.

How Can I Reduce My Job Stress?

The quickest way to reduce work stress is to make yourself a priority. Balance your work and home life so that work does not consume all of your time and attention. Exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. Ensure you spend time with family and friends, and set aside time for yourself.

When at work, accept that you are human and can’t do everything for everyone. If you have too much work, ask for assistance. Focus on the most important tasks and set aside smaller tasks that aren’t urgent. Take breaks throughout the day to recharge. Engage with your co-workers. Realize that you can only do your best, so be happy with what you can accomplish each day. Consider opening the lines of communication with management about reducing workplace stressors.

For more information, NIOSH provides a free booklet Stress at Work. We also offer a Job Stress Prevention training course which discusses the causes of job stress as well as stress management and prevention.

Date Posted: 07-19-2016
Tags: job stress, osha safety topics, osha safety training, osha workplace safety, stress at wrok, workplace stress,
Categories: OSHA Safety,