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Stress and employees: When stress breaches the workplace

| Jan 21, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

2020 was a difficult year for most people, and 2021 continues to have its own issues. The economy is not doing well, and many people are out of work. Even those who have kept their jobs have their own struggles due to companies working with skeleton crews and tight schedules.

If you’re working in a tough environment, there is a risk that the stress of your job could cause serious physical and emotional damage. Stress can lead to poor health and may even result in work-related injuries.

Extreme stress is commonplace in American workplaces

One study by Northwestern National Life showed that around 40% of workers thought that their jobs were extremely stressful. Of course, what people consider to be extremely stressful will vary based on their personal experiences, but that number should still be alarming.

Who is at the greatest risk of stress-related injuries on the job?

Those in lower-skilled jobs, young workers and women are the most likely to suffer from work-related stress. Therefore, they are also more likely to have stress-related injuries, like the development of mental health issues like anxiety or depression or physical issues like high blood pressure or substance abuse.

Work-related stress has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other cardiovascular events. It’s also been shown to increase the risk of diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, immune deficiency disorders and musculoskeletal disorders.

How can you reduce stress on the job?

If you want to reduce stress, your employer should:

  • Look into creating clear promotion and reward paths
  • Increasing how long workers have to complete tasks
  • Provide longer break times (or the option for more breaks throughout a shift)
  • Eliminate any physical hazards in the workplace
  • Encourage the use of personal protective equipment
  • Stop harassment, bullying or other social issues at work

If you find that you’re struggling with work-related stress and it’s having a negative effect on your health, workers’ compensation may cover your medical care and any significant time off you need to take. Your health comes first, so make sure you seek support and medical attention if you feel overwhelmed by your job.

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