Workplace Safety – Reducing Work Related Stress

Reducing stresses enhances workplace safety. While a modicum amount of stress is good for performing tasks well, it is actually hard to determine what moderate stress is and what is not as people react to additional stresses differently.

The following are stress-causing factors that could culminate in immoderate workplaces stresses. When left unchecked, these factors could lead into people quitting their jobs, low productivity, anger, tension, and accidents.

The Causes
- Unreasonable demands. Work overloading where the worker is supposed to finish a task within a given time tempts the worker to rush through the job, inviting possible accidents, ill will, and bad judgment.

- Over working the employee through long shifts with insufficient breaks cause fatigue and many other health issues. The most effective time of the day as far as productivity is concerned is the first two hours in the morning when shift is starting. Long-term productivity also suffers.

- Poor work environment. Insufficient lighting, poor housekeeping, disorganized work place and spaces, poor communication within the company, insufficient direction and undefined expectations and roles, low morale, poor cooperation among the staff, and bad management practices are just some of the occurrences in the workplace that adds unnecessary stresses in the whole workforce.

- Poor environmental conditions such as poor air quality, too much humidity heat, and dust results to poor health among workers.

Stress Management
- Obviously, the action that will be required is to reduce or eliminate the above-mentioned factors. More than that though, the following are suggestion if workplace safety and productivity is to be improved.

- Ensure that the work required is within the competencies of the individual assigned to the task and that there are sufficient resources to finish the job on time.

- One of the best practices at reducing stress and improving work safety is to have the employees involved in decisions that could affect their performance. A culture of open communication between management and staff goes a long way in identifying problem areas and promoting a feeling of mutual concern.

- Incentives including non-cash benefits boost employee morale.

- One of the best strategies though for improving morale is for management to take steps toward creating a safe working conditions, healthy environment balanced with appropriate job descriptions and assignments where expectations are well defined, implemented and followed through.

There are many cases, though, when the employer and management are not aware of the stresses suffered in the workplace. The usual cause is the employee not saying no to requests or not discussing the problem for fear of losing the job. For this reason, it is important for the worker to occasionally say "no" if the request is unreasonable and site the reasons as needed.

The employee must ensure that workloads, working conditions, environment in the workplace has to be brought to the attention of other people within the organization in order to find solution to issues.
Workplace safety and health is everyone's business. While solutions rest with the management regarding the alleviation of the stresses found in the work place, the employee has to take the effort at making valid point for workplace improvement communicated to the management.


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