Stress – state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
Many of life’s demands can cause stress. The impact can often be temporary, but when it comes to long term stress factors (work, relationships, money worries), it can have a severe affect on our lives.
Stress can and will affect us all differently.
Work related stress, depression or anxiety is defined as a harmful reaction that people have due to pressures and demands placed on them at work. Estimates from the Labour Force Survey identify that the total number of work related depression or anxiety in 2014/15 was 440,000 cases. As a result, the total number of work days lost amounted to approximately 9.9 million days.
The main factors cited as causing work related stress include workload pressures, tight deadlines, too much responsibility, lack of support from management, violence and role uncertainty.
Far too often within the field of health and safety, not enough emphasis is put on workers mental health. Accident (safety) statistics have continued to improve since records began, helped by vast improvements in safe working environments, processes and worker engagement. Little, in comparison, seems to be done when we consider the approach the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce.
Stress is a well known cause of absence from work, however, there is also evidence to suggest that it can contribute to accidents and injury at work. Depression or anxiety can significantly effect your ability to think and make good judgement, which in turn can make you more likely to cause/have an accident within the workplace.
The consequences of stress can come in many forms, affecting how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. Common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. You may also feel anxious, irritable, and in a constant state of worry.
If you feel that you are not coping or notice that a colleague is showing signs of stress, speak with a supervisor or manager. They can help identify areas of your work that are causing issues and adjust your work accordingly. Again, if the cause for anxiety is from outside of work, they may be able to help by adjusting your work. It may also help to talk to you Doctor/GP.
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