Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health organizations. Through its research program in job stress and through educational materials such as this booklet, NIOSH is committed to providing organizations with knowledge to reduce this threat. This publication highlights knowledge about the causes of stress at work and outlines steps that can be taken to prevent job stress. For weeks he had been plagued by aching muscles, loss of appetite, restless sleep, and a complete sense of exhaustion.
Skip to content Psychosocial risks and stress at work Psychosocial risks and work-related stress are among the most challenging issues in occupational safety and health. They impact significantly on the health of individuals, organisations and national economies.
Around half of European workers consider stress to be common in their workplace, and it contributes to around half of all lost working days. Like many other issues surrounding mental health, stress is often misunderstood or stigmatised. However, when viewed as an organisational issue rather than an individual fault, psychosocial risks and stress can be just as manageable as any other workplace safety and health risk.
What are psychosocial risks and stress? Psychosocial risks arise from poor work design, organisation and management, as well as a poor social context of work, and they may result in negative psychological, physical and social outcomes such as work-related stress, burnout or depression.
Some examples of working conditions leading to psychosocial risks are: Excessive workloads Conflicting demands and lack of role clarity Lack of involvement in making decisions that affect the worker and lack of influence over the way the job is done Poorly managed organisational change, job insecurity Ineffective communication, lack of support from management or colleagues Psychological and sexual harassment, third party violence When considering the job demands, it is important not to confuse psychosocial risks such as excessive workload with conditions where, although stimulating and sometimes challenging, there is a supportive work environment in which workers are well trained and motivated to perform to the best of their ability.
Workers experience stress when the demands of their job are excessive and greater than their capacity to cope with them. In addition to mental health problems, workers suffering from prolonged stress can go on to develop serious physical health problems such as cardiovascular disease or musculoskeletal problems.
For the organisation, the negative effects include poor overall bussiness performance, increased absenteeism and presenteeism workers turning up for work when sick and unable to function effectively and increased accident and injury rates.
Absences tend to be longer than those arising from other causes and work-related stress may contribute to increased rates of early retirement. Estimates of the cost to businesses and society are significant and run into billions of euros at a national level.
How significant is the problem? Among the most frequently mentioned causes of work-related stress are job reorganisation or job insecurity, working long hours or excessive workload, and harassment and violence at work.
EU-OSHA provides information on recent data and research evidence relating to the prevalence and safety and health impact of work-related stress and psychosocial risks. A preventive, holistic and systematic approach to managing psychosocial risks is believed to be the most effective.
There is a need for raising awareness and simple practical tools facilitating dealing with work-related stress, violence and harassment. What can be done to prevent and manage psychosocial risks?
With the right approach, psychosocial risks and work-related stress can be prevented and successfully managed, regardless of bussiness size or type. They can be tackled in the same logical and systematic way as other workplace safety and health risks.
Furthermore, the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being recognises the changing demands and increasing pressures in the workplace and encourages employers to implement additional, voluntary measures to promote mental well-being. Although employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that workplace risks are properly assessed and controlled, it is essential that workers are also involved.
Workers and their representatives have the best understanding of the problems that can occur in their workplace. Involving them will ensure that the measures put in place are both appropriate and effective.Many approaches to work-related stress risk assessment suggest the integration between a phase where objective data are collected and analyzed, and a phase where results of data collection and analysis are discussed and compared with information coming from the workers.
Unfortunately, work-related stress doesn't just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being. In the short term, a stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper and difficulty concentrating.
Managing the causes of work-related stress n under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act to take measures to control that risk.
. Work-Related Stress and its Management Peter S. Carlson MGMT Dr. Peter H. Antoniou December 6, Abstract This paper will discuss the topic of work-related stress and its management. It will present a general introduction or definition of stress and will discuss several subtopics related to work stress.
Jan 12, · With grave impact on work productivity, patient care, staff attrition and turnover rates, a better understanding of existing relationships between work related stress, burnout, job satisfaction and general health of nurses is required.
Experienced on a personal and psychological level, work related stress nevertheless has social causes. New forms of management demand from staff an ever greater personal investment, but the growing intensification of the work often makes the missions they are given impossible to fulfil.