Unnecessary stress: How you can help

by on December 27, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network

Overstressed workers are more likely get hurt or sick, perform poorly, call in sick and quit.

While supervisors who focus on excellent performance will generate some stress, that’s not what we mean. We’re talking about unnecessary stress – perhaps someone’s dealing with an unnecessary hazard or maybe they have personal issues at home.

Here are some suggestions to help workers deal with unnecessary stress:

  1. Lend a sympathetic ear.
    Experienced safety directors know people are going to need to blow off steam from time to time. Sometimes just listening will help – the person may just need to let frustration out. This is often true of personal issues – as long as you don’t risk becoming the person’s therapist.
  2. Help the person decide what they control and what they can’t.
    Bad stress often comes from a person’s trying to control situations they really cannot. In those cases, help set the person’s sights on something they can do something about, such as their reaction. For example, a person can’t control the national economy. But they can control their own work performance. If someone is stressed by job insecurity, you may be able to offer suggestions for improving job performance or even job retraining.
  3. Take control of your part.
    Sometimes, you can remove the stressor. For example, a worker may feel unnecessary risk because equipment needs repair. But it isn’t considered a high priority. You may be able to make a stronger case to make the repair sooner, or take other measures to protect the person in the meantime.

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