It's inevitable to experience some stress at work, and when it comes to production, a little stress can go a long way. Chronic and prolonged stress in the workplace can be damaging, however - not just for production, but to the well-being of workers.
According to Safety + Health Magazine, stress on the job can show up through the following:
- Trouble concentrating
- Low morale
- Anxiety and/or irritability
- Alcohol or drug use on the job
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Workplace incidents
- Workplace violence
These aren't just signs of stress but are common factors in workplace accidents or injuries. Additionally, stress puts workers at risk of making errors or working too fast - thus paying less attention to safety.
Additionally, work-related stress may result in health conditions, such as musculoskeletal disorders and heart disease.
Why stress is impacting older workers
Stress can be particularly hazardous to older workers. The number of older workers continues to grow each year. The U.S. Labor Bureau estimates that by 2020, workers ages 55 and older will make up nearly a quarter of the workforce.
According to a study conducted by Portland State University, older workers are likely to feel more stress than younger workers when employers don't provide adequate support and resources needed for job performance. Researchers surveyed 243 Pacific Northwest municipal workers between ages 24-65 within the course of one year.
In contrast with their younger counterparts, older workers tend to favor autonomy and support that accommodates the psychological and physical changes associated with aging.
Both age groups experienced lower levels of stress with more autonomy, good relationships with management, and a general feeling of respect and fairness in the workplace.
In order to mitigate the likelihood of older workers experiencing stress, the study suggests:
- Offer flexibility to workers with different skill sets to complete tasks based on their strengths and expertise.
- Encourage strong relationships between workers and management.
- Offer some decision-making transparency to workers and allow them to share concerns and input.
Injured on the job due to stress? Know your legal options.
If you have sustained an injury or health condition due to work-related stress, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Obtaining benefits in Ohio can be a challenging ordeal. If not approached correctly, your claim could be denied.
Let the experienced attorneys at Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A. guide you through this complex process. We'll make sure that all paperwork is filled out correctly and all medical documentation is available when negotiating a fair settlement.
Contact us today to get started.