A legitimate health and safety concern, stress knows no gender, cultural, age or educational boundaries. Carried from other aspects of life to work, it significantly affects performance and safety. Fortunately, there are ways to tackle this issue on-site, protecting employees, improving their health, and allowing you to lower your workman's comp rates from distraction-related incidents.
Lurking in the shadows…
A large proportion of safety problems are due to human error, making it essential to identify signs of stress in your workforce that can lead to these issues, created when one’s loss of focus draws attention elsewhere. Signs include:
• Trouble concentrating
• Low morale
• Alcohol/drug use
• Overeating/appetite loss
Everyone feels stress. The key is to help workers cope: Recognize it and its cause, react appropriately, and put it in the rear-view mirror – without turning to drugs, alcohol and medication to mask the effects that physically- and mentally-stored stress can take on one’s life. Prevent this fallout with a positive, communicative work environment.
Some work situations can increase stress:
• Excess workload
• Job insecurity
• Infrequent breaks
• Impractical performance demands
• Low pay/poor benefits
• Poor communication
Safety professionals can play an important role in helping workers cope
When things go wrong, rather than belittling, put things in context: “You do a good job, but this was mishandled, let’s discuss it and find a way out.” For perceived stress-related incidents, suggesting employee assistance – from yourself or a professional – is also key to prevent future safety issues that could affect co-workers.
Stressed-out about finding ways to lower your workman's comp rates? Minnesota Comp Advisor can help. Contact us today.