Good stress management is important in the workplace. It can be seen as motivating and provides workers with challenges that provide fulfilment and purpose. However, when that pressure is excessive and you suffer an adverse reaction to it, then it has become stress. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as an adverse reaction that people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them.
Stress is not a disease, but it can be a threat to your health and is bad for both individuals and organisations.
Symptoms of stress can include:
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Irritable and “wound up”
- Anxious or fearful
- Lacking self-esteem
- Racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
- Difficulties concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Muscular tension or pain
- Sleeping difficulties
- Tired all the time
- Eating too much or too little.
Employees dealing with stress may be tempted towards unhealthy behaviour such as drinking, smoking or drug use and comfort eating. This has the potential to cause further health problems.
A recent survey conducted by the CIPD confirms that issues related to work stress are now becoming increasingly more common than back pain as a cause of long term work absence. Stress is an organisation problem and Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 employers have a legal duty to conduct stress risk assessments in order to assess those factors that cause excessive stress to the individual.
The Health and Work Consultancy can assist your company to proactively prevent stress in your organisation. We have expertise in the provision of Comprehensive stress audits may be conducted on your behalf and advice may be given on stress policy development and how to conduct stress risk assessments to manage this occupational hazard to a high standard. In addition we can meet staff for stress related consultations and where appropriate guide them to reduce their difficulties by using a cognitive behavioural approach.
Sources of Further information
- Health and Safety Executive – Work related stress
- Health and Safety Executive – Return to work stress risk assessment questionnaire
- ACAS – Stress at work guidance
- Unite the Union – Work related Stress guidance
If you have any questions or advice about stress or mental ill health in the workplace or any other occupational health services for your business in South Wales or the South of England, don't hesitate to call us on 02920 682028 or Contact us.