Recognize your limits, so you can bend and not break
Job stress is defined as the physical and emotional harm that occurs when the demands of the work do not match the worker’s abilities or the available resources. Just as you would not overload a piece of equipment past the recommended capacity, you must also take care to observe when coworkers (or yourself) appear to be carrying too much job stress.
In the construction industry, especially, workers regularly experience major stressors like long, irregular hours, loud and potentially dangerous jobsites and tight schedules.
Stress on the job can lead to more injuries, accidents and illness. It’s important to recognize and address the causes of job stress before they become dangerous.
- Ask for help, and ask coworkers if they need help.
- Tell your supervisor if the schedule or some aspect of the work is creating pressure that impacts your work or health.
- Exercise and remember to take good care of yourself.
- See a doctor if you notice physical effects of stress — such as frequent headaches, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, difficulty concentrating or short temper.
- Use the Helpline offered to SMART members and their families, available 24/7 to connect you with a trained counselor who can provide guidance in times of crisis due to stress, substance abuse or other mental health issues. The Helpline number is 877-884-6227.
While there is no way to magically eliminate stress from the workplace, we can reduce the harm that comes from it by recognizing when we are experiencing moments of high stress and speaking openly about it as soon as it begins to impact health.