When you think about workplace safety, you probably think about personal protective equipment and the safety steps you’re told to take when cleaning or using tools. What you may not learn as much about is workplace stress and how to reduce it.
Stress is a major factor in injuries. Workplace stress happens when there is a physical or emotional issue between the employee, their job demands and their ability to meet those demands. An employee, for example, who cannot keep up with their work or who is struggling to work long hours, may start to feel burned out and begin to make mistakes. Those mistakes could lead to workplace injuries, just as the stress itself could lead to mental health challenges.
According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress is a major source of stress for adults in America, and it has continued to grow over the last several decades. Stress has the potential to lead to higher rates of:
- Heart attacks
- Violence in the workplace
Did you know that 25% of people believe that their job is the number one stressor in their lives? Another 29% admitted to feeling extremely or “quite a bit” stressed at work, which isn’t good for their health.
With workers complaining of being driven to violence, such as by striking a coworker, trouble sleeping, calling in sick over stress or other issues, it’s no surprise that stress is such a significant problem that can make or break a work environment for employees.
If your workplace is too stressful, talk to your human resources department. Depending on the workload, the causes of your stress and other related factors, there may be steps that can be taken to help minimize stress on the job. If you get sick because of extraordinary stressful situations at work, there’s also a possibility that workers’ compensation may cover some of your losses.