- 60 to 80% of workplace accidents are attributed to stress
- 29% of people reported being physically abusive to a co-worker
- 40% of job turn-over is attributed to stress
- in California, Workers' compensation claims increased by almost 700% over 8 years
- approximately 550 million working days are lost annually to stress
- stress costs are estimated to cost the employer $3.5 billion each year
When people are stressed, their focus is no longer on the work at hand and they become careless. Without good emotional management techniques their ability to be resilient is gradually eroded. This results in flaring tempers, inattention to details and rising costs in terms of health care, safety and productivity.
I recently had the honour of presenting a talk on Stress and Safety for the first year students in the B.C.I.T. Occupational Health and Safety programme. This rigourous course of study has been developed and shaped by department head, Robert Miller. The graduates from this programme are highly coveted for their sound and thorough knowledge of occupational health and safety.
It is evident that Robert cares for his students and this programme by the way he and his students interact and also in his desire to augment his student's learning experiences. A heartfelt thanks to Robert, for inviting me to his class!
Health and Safety programmes are important - improve your "numbers" by treating the cause of stress rather than the symptoms. Provide people with effective tools and techniques that they can implement right in the moment when they are feeling stressed.
Our ability to perform well is greatly impacted by the cascade of 1400 chemical changes that take place during stressful times, so it is important to alter this flow. Over time, the constant stress wears out our nervous system and contributes to ill-health. This comes at a high cost, not only to the employer but to society as a whole.
Change is as simple as harnessing the power of your heart.
Photo: Vangelis Thomaidis