Stress can lead you into a dangerous situation

Stress Awareness Month happens each April and it’s an opportunity to bring awareness to something that is affecting the majority of American workers.

More than three in four U.S. employees (76%) have dealt with issues or stress that negatively affect their mental health, according to a new survey from the American Health Association (AHA). The survey examined the effects of stress and mental health in the workplace and the need for more awareness and resources for workers.

Stress affects your body as well as your mind. When your body is under stress, it thinks it’s in a danger situation, like a near-miss accident. Under stress, your heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels increase and your muscles tense. Long-term stress can cause or worsen a wide range of injuries or illnesses including musculoskeletal health, headaches, stomach issues, and depression. Stress also increases the risk of serious conditions like stroke and heart disease and could put you and others at risk for workplace accidents.

It’s easy to tell whether a worker is wearing a hard hat, safety goggles, or other piece of personal protective equipment. However, an intangible such as a person’s stress level isn’t always easy to identify.

When you’re under stress, one of the things that is on your mind is the source of the stress. It creates a distraction. Let’s say you have a sick parent in the hospital, and you get to work and you’re climbing a ladder or you’re on scaffolding. While you’re walking along on the scaffolding, part of your attention is on where you’re walking and what you’re doing, but also part of your attention is on your sick parent in the hospital. Loss of focus or inattention is a major cause of injury in the workplace.

A Stress Management program is an important approach to workers’ health and injury risk.  Which is why this proactive approach is integrated into Atlas Early Intervention. We bring awareness to the overall well-being of the employee and how stress management techniques can positively impact the work place.