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Accident at Work

National Stress Awareness Day 2019

Estimated read time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, November 06, 2019

National Stress Awareness Day takes place today – as it does every year on the first Wednesday in November.

Running alongside it is International Stress Awareness Week, which kicked off on Monday 4 November and runs until Friday 8 November. According to the UK branch of the International Stress Management Association, its intention “is to keep stress, mental health and wellbeing high on the national agenda”.

Work as a cause of stress

Most of us spend a lot of our weeks at work. This means our jobs have the ability to cause us significant amounts of stress. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE): “There are six main areas that can lead to work-related stress if they are not managed properly. These are: demands, control, support, relationships, role and change.”

For instance, an employee might think they can’t cope with the demands of their role, that they can’t control how they carry out their work or that they don’t get the support they need.

Meanwhile, they might also be struggling with certain relationships at work – including being bullied – or they might not understand how their role fits into the organisation. They may also be worried about the business undergoing a change.

The effects of stress at work

Workplace stress can manifest itself in a number of ways. Depending on the individual, these can include the worker taking more time off, arriving for work later or acting more nervously.

The HSE has added that stress can also been seen in a change in the way someone thinks or feels. It has highlighted mood swings, withdrawing from colleagues, a lack of motivation, commitment and confidence and increased emotional reactions as further signs of stress.

Some teams suffering from high stress levels can also find they’re facing more arguments, higher staff turnover, more reports of stress, more absences, decreased productivity and more complaints and grievances.

How to handle stress

The HSE advises employees struggling with their stress levels to act quickly by addressing their problems and concerns with line managers or HR department.

Mental health charity Mind has suggested creating a stress awareness space at work on National Stress Awareness Day. The organisation said it will give staff the chance to “share their thoughts and feelings when they are feeling stressed”, allowing them to exchange tips and advice on dealing with stress.

If you run a business, there are a number of policies and you can introduce to help reduce stress levels. According to research by Mind, 56% of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don't think they have the right training. Talk Business has compiled a guide for businesses to support employees’ mental health and manage stress in the workplace, including appointing mental health first aiders.

Stress and accidents

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, “workers experiencing high levels of stress may be more liable to commit errors in their work (whether slips, mistakes or violations) which in turn can lead to accidents”. This highlights the importance of keeping stress at manageable levels.

If you’ve suffered an accident in the workplace that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact First4Lawyers to discuss your situation and find out more. Just give us a call, request a call back or start your claim online.