Safety column: Stress in the work place

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safety image sept 2018 ocn

Special to Ottawa Construction News

By Chantal Blais

Workplace stress is the harmful physical and emotional responses that can happen when there is a conflict between job demands on the employee and the amount of control an employee has over meeting these demands.

Workplace stress can be caused by a number of factors – from heavy workloads and over-promotion to bullying and blame culture.

Some common causes of stress in the workplace are:

• Unrealistic deadlines;
• Making people feel rushed;
• Under pressure and overwhelmed; and
• High workloads.

Symptoms of stress in the workplace:
• Fatigue;
• Muscular tension;
• Headaches;
• Confusion;
• Being discouraged;
• Heart palpitations;
• Sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia;
• Gastrointestinal upsets, such as diarrhoea or constipation; and
• Dermatological disorders.

Here are some ideas about how to manage stress:
• Track your stressors. Write them down;
• Develop positive responses;
• Establish boundaries for yourself;
• Take time to recharge;
• Learn how to relax and breath;
• Talk to your supervisor. Don’t be shy; and
• Get some support-family, friends.

Ways to maintain a positive attitude in the workplace include:
• Surround yourself with positive people;
• Fill your mind with positive input;
• Control your language and behaviour;
• Create a routine for the day;
• Be nice to other people-be that better person; and
• Don’t rely on an outside source of positivity-mind over matter.

Ways to be happy at work:
• Choose to be happy at work. Enjoy your job;
• Do something you love every single day;
• Take charge of your own professional and personal development. You’re the boss;
• Take responsibility for knowing what is happening at work. Be involved;
• Ask for feedback frequently;
• Make only commitments you can keep; and
• Avoid negativity and turn it to positive thoughts.

Chantal Blais is the operations manager at LaborTek Personnel/Safety Training Services. For more information, see www.labortek.com.

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