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What can be done to prevent or reduce work stress?

As the origin of work stress can be multiple, preventive measures to eliminate or reduce work stress can be multiple; and therefore, the worker and the organization will be intervened. Intervention on the worker.

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Through different techniques, the worker can be provided with resources to cope with work stress when organizational measures do not give results. You have to exercise, avoid the intake of stimulants such as tobacco, coffee or alcohol, and avoid passive or aggressive communications, developing tolerance and respecting others.

This intervention should always be done first. To prevent stress, you must start to intervene in the design phase, taking into account all the elements of the job, Locksmith Scarborough, integrating the physical and social environment and its possible repercussions for health.

The prevention of work stress must go through the intervention of the organization.

Interventions can and should be directed toward the organizational structure, communication style, decision-making processes, job functions and tasks, the physical environment, and methods for training workers.

The basis for reducing stress is to improve communication, increase worker participation in decisions regarding work, improve environmental conditions; The variety and stimulation of work tasks must also be considered.

An important aspect for the prevention of stress is the increase of social support in organizations, favoring the cohesion of work groups and training supervisors to adopt an attitude of help with subordinates, since social support not only reduces vulnerability to stress but also its negative effects.

Considering that stress is one of the main risks for health and safety, it would be prudent to include indicators of it in the monitoring of occupational health and investing in stress prevention is a cost saving for the company, which means placing it in an advantageous position against the competition.

The United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health establishes the following preventive measures in the workplace:

  • Work schedule: ensure that work schedules avoid conflicts with demands and responsibilities outside of work. Rotating shift schedules must be stable and predictable.
  • Participation / control: letting workers contribute ideas to decisions and actions that affect their work.
  • Workload: check that work demands are compatible with the worker’s abilities and resources and allow recovery after particularly demanding physical or mental tasks.
  • Content: design the tasks in a way that they confer meaning, encouragement, a feeling of fulfillment and the opportunity to make use of the training.
  • Roles: clearly define roles and responsibilities at work.
  • Social environment: creating opportunities for social interaction, including moral support and help directly related to work.
  • Future: avoid ambiguity on issues of job stability and encourage career development.

That is to say:

  • The work must be in accordance with the skills and resources of the workers.
  • The worker should be allowed to use their problem solving skills.
  • The functions, tasks and responsibilities of each of the workers must be correctly established to avoid ambiguity.
  • Workers must be involved to participate in decision-making, as it improves communication in the organization.
  • Social interaction between workers outside of work must be supported: celebrations, games, etc.

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, provides another series of recommendations such as:

  • Improve the content and organization of work to avoid psychosocial risk factors.
  • Control changes in working conditions and in the health of workers and their interrelation.
  • Raise awareness, inform, prepare and educate.
  • Expand the objectives and strategies of occupational health or risk prevention services.
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