Stress Can Lead to Bigger Problems for Laborers

August 11, 2014

Not all jobs are created equal. While each occupation has its share of risks, many workers encounter different problems on a day-to-day basis. In fact, a recent study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has found that stress can lead to bigger problems for workers in factory, construction and other industrial settings than in some other professions.

NIOSH reported that stress on the job is a major reason why employees have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, according to online publication Counsel & Heal. For workers, such as those in the manufacturing and construction industries, stress has a higher chance of causing these dangerous conditions. The study also found that unemployment can have similar effects on the body. 

"Workplace factors that increase risk include job stress, exposure to air pollution - like dust and secondhand smoke - and noise," explained Dr. Sara Luckhaupt, lead researcher for NIOSH, the media outlet reported. "These workers would benefit from health programs that combine reducing occupational risk factors like job stress with health promotion activities like smoking cessation."

In addition, NIOSH pointed out that many workers already have medical conditions that can be complicated by stress. Most importantly, all employers and staff members must take proper measures to improve stress levels and stay healthy. Thankfully, there are many cost-effective ways to do this.

How to limit stress on the job
Implementing strategies to mitigate stress and improve workplace wellness are fantastic additions to any risk management plan. For employers in industries like manufacturing and construction, these efforts can cut down on workers' compensation insurance costs as well.

According to Time magazine, there are a few methods employees can use to reduce stress, including:

1. Staying organized
A messy workspace can be distracting and overwhelming on the job. Stress can also tick up if workers can't manage their time efficiently or lose track of important tasks. So, employers should suggest staying organized, and offer assistance when viable.

2. Remaining focused
Interruptions and distractions can also pose problems at a worksite. Time magazine recommended remaining focused as a solution. In some cases, employees are prevented from completing their tasks by phone calls, meetings, colleagues and many other reasons. If this is the case, they could fall behind and get overwhelmed, raising stress levels.

3. Understanding stress
Stress is a fact of every job. Employees who know this, and can cope with that, are more likely to manage it better. With this in mind, companies should make sure each staff member knows what the job entails and what they can do to control the negatives.

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