Stress in the Workplace

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Stress just cannot be avoided in the modern world. But thankfully not all stress has a negative effect on us. But when that stress builds up and we do not have the knowledge of how to deal with it, it can affect both our physical and mental health.

One area in life where stress is prevalent is at work. It is highly important that both employers and their employees are aware of the problems that stress in the workplace can cause. Meeting production targets, striving to win bonus payments and merely producing enough business to keep the company a going concern is very stressful for management, staff and workers alike.

A degree of stress at work may be what is needed to turn a company from a mere going concern into a very successful one. It can also have a detrimental effect as the stress takes its toll on staff, especially key ones. If the problem of stress is not properly dealt with it can have a detrimental effect on even the most efficient of businesses enjoying the best of industrial relations.

It is essential that employers are aware of the effects stress has on their employees and that they take the necessary steps to avoid it. Employers being responsible for their staff avoiding stress is constantly reinforced by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive.

In ensuring their employees’ health and safety in the workplace, employers must make sure that nothing in the work practices and company structures puts anyone under undue health threatening stress.

Workers and staff should also be ware of the detrimental effect stress can have upon them and they should be prepared to tell management should the pressure in the workplace become too great. Workers should also realise that their employers do have duty of care towards them.

In the UK employees are protected by the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. And under the 1992 Management of Health and Safety at Work regulation, employers must ensure that measures are in place to safeguard staff and workers health, which includes employees not being put under so much stress that they become ill.

The workers also have a role to play in ensuring their health and safety at work, and that is by informing management when they are under undue stress.

It is important that both employers and employees are aware of stress in the workplace to ensure everyone stays healthy, and that production is not lost through key personnel falling sick. Should the employer refuse to acknowledge this basic, but vital fact, he could find himself falling foul of the regulations in place to protect the health of his staff and workers.

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