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Safety and Health Officer


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 State definition of occupational stress

 Discuss the sources of stress at the


 List at least 5 effects of occupational


 Discuss practical methods of reducing

stress at the workplace
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 Definition of occupational stress

 Who is at risk of occupational stress
 Stress reaction
 Effects of stress to the organisation
 Sources of stress at work
 Stress reducing methods
 Action plan to reduce stress

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Employee perception towards stress

 “We do not have stress here”

 “Stress is something that cannot be avoided in our

business. If you cannot overcome it, you will not
achieve the target”

 “It’s not our fault. Employees bring their stress to the

workplace – we cannot do anything about it.
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1. Stress results in mental suffering for the worker

2. Stress is detrimental to the company

3. Stress requires money

4. Stress is related to heart attacks, gastritis and other


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Stress requires money
1. 40 million loss man days annually are stress related

2. Stress results increased alcohol intake, absenteeism -

700 million pounds/year

3. The cost of the loss of an executive to heart attack

due to stress is equivalent to USD 600,000 (Xerox,

4. Compensation paid out for stress related cases totals

15% of all compensation cases (USA)
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Definition of Stress

 Stress is pressure that is felt by an individual

and his/her reaction as a result of it

 Increase in stress for an individual may be

too much for him to bear

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Who are at risk of occupational

 Everyone is susceptible to stress

 Personality type A
 Those dealing with public i.e. police,
nurses etc.
 Working mothers
 Employees with monotonous work

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Occupational Stressors

S – Support
T - Task
R - Role
E - Environment
S - Shift work
S – Security and change
O - Organisation
R – Rules and regulations

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Stress Model
Short term Long term
reaction reaction
towards towards
Occupation stress stress
physiology physiology
psychology psychology

behaviour behaviour

Internal sources External sources

•Skills to contain and handle problems * Job control
•Skills to control emotions * Social support
•Occupational skills
•Social skills
Reaction towards stress
Reaction Short term Long term

Physiology High – pulse, blood Psychosomatic

pressure, adrenalin and symptoms, high blood,
cortical levels gastritis

Psychology Mental fatigue, Depression, nervous,

frustration, anger, bluntness, dissatisfied

Behaviour Non-consistent work Increase intake of

performance, lack of nicotine, alcohol, pills,
concentration, absenteeism, change of
mistakes, work
Effects of stress towards the
 Non-harmonious working relationship

 Low morale

 Reduced quality

 Reduced productivity

 Increased absenteeism, late to work

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Effects of stress towards the
 Increased rate of accidents

 Increased rate of diseases

 Increased turnover

 Increased number of workers wanting to


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General principles to
overcome stress

1. Tackle the source, not the symptoms

2. Accept that stress is an organisational
problem and not an individual one
3. Settle ‘taboo’ problems
4. Involve everyone
5. Realistic approach, do not try too many
methods at one time

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Stress intervention
Organisational Individual approach
approach  Eliminate the source of
 Identify stress stress

 Action example: counseling

review management style,
work rotation
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AAAbc’s Stress Management
(Individual approach)

 `Alter it’
 `Avoid it’
 `Accept it’
- Develop defense
- Change perception of stress

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Intervention strategies for
individual stress
 Monitoring of stress symptoms (stress journal)

 Increase defense and analysing source of

- Social skills, assertive training, problem solving

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Intervention strategies for
individual stress
 Accepting stress and changing reactions
- Cognitive behaviour technique

 Lowering level of sensitivity to stress

- Healthy lifestyle, relaxation, praying, meditation

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Action plan
1. Establish discussion groups
2. Evaluate current situation
 Group problems
 Identify source
 Evaluate existing solutions
3. Establish policies and programmes
4. Implement policies and programmes
5. Monitor and evaluate policies and
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