PLANT

Stressful workplace?

Avoid making workers sick


December 17, 2015
by CCOHS

ThinkstockPhotos-530380753When the demands and pressures of a job are too much for some workers to handle, they may experience work-related stress. If left unchecked for a prolonged periods, stress can make them sick.

Studies show stressful working conditions are associated with increased absenteeism, tardiness, high staff turnover, reduced productivity and product/service quality, and increased compensation costs. How workers react to stress may include tobacco, alcohol or drug abuse; violent/bullying behaviour; sleep problems; anxiety; depression; inability to concentrate; and irritability. Chronic stress can also cause health issues such as back problems, heart problems, stomach ulcers, hypertension and a weakened immune system.

Everyone has different thresholds for stress and its triggers.

Do the following to reduce workplace stressors

  • Treat all employees in a fair and respectful manner.
  • Look for pressures at work that could cause high and prolonged levels of stress.
  • Look for pressures at work that could cause high and prolonged levels of stress.
  • Look for pressures at work that could cause high and prolonged levels of stress.
  • Match the workload to workers’ skills and abilities.
  • Design meaningful jobs that are stimulating and provide opportunities for employees to use their skills.
  • Allow employees to have as much control as possible over their tasks.
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities.
  • Provide employees with the training, skills and resources they need to do their jobs.
  • Establish work schedules that are compatible with demands and responsibilities outside the job.
  • Involve employees in decision-making and seek their input on issues affecting their jobs.
  • Improve communications and reduce uncertainty about career development and future employment prospects.
  • Value and recognize individuals’ results and skills.
  • Provide opportunities for social interaction among employees.
  • Provide access to employee assistance programs.
  • Workplaces with healthy work systems are more likely to have productive workers who can effectively handle the demands of the workplace.
  • This article was provided by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). The not-for-profit federal corporation that promotes the physical, psychosocial and mental health of Canadian workers.

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