People will often experience stress intermittently throughout their lives, such as when buying a house or grieving for a loved one. However, the everyday stress of a person’s career is most likely to have long-term negative effects—and could even lead to early retirement or even death.
How Stress Can Affect a Worker’s Safety
Workplace stress is a form of repetitive injury, caused by daily exposure to a high-pressure working environment. It can happen in any kind of industry, and has the potential to cause serious injuries for employees. A worker who is overwhelmed by a deadline can easily make simple but costly mistakes, such as distractedly ignoring safety protocols when using heavy machinery; suffer poor hand-eye coordination when loading or unloading a truck; or even succumb to poor health or turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the strain.
Work stress is typically a result of high job demands from an employer combined with an employee’s lack of control over the situation. Some of the most common stressors in the workplace include:
- Fear. One of the greatest workplace stressors is the fear of losing one’s job. Employers may threaten layoffs in order to get more productivity from their workers, but this also has the effect of employees suffering injuries due to increased pressure to perform.
- Overworked employees. Long shifts, mandatory overtime, and lack of proper rest between work periods can easily cause errors that lead to injury.
- Environmental problems. Conditions in the workplace such as high noise levels, lack of proper training, exposure to toxic substances, or poor air quality can take a toll on employees.
- Career development. Employees who feel they are under-appreciated or are continually being passed over for promotion are likely to suffer frustration, which can eventually give way to poor-decision making.
- Work relationships. Conflicts between employees and supervisors can create a toxic or even unsafe working environment. Sexual harassment, bullying, and threats of violence can place unreasonable mental and emotional demands on workers, especially if there isn't an adequate system in place to report these violations.
- Work-life balance. Many employees take their work home with them, and that includes the stress of the job. An imbalance between working hours and “off the clock” hours can cause problems—as well as a diminished sense of appreciation—in both the home and the workplace.
Unfortunately, Florida workers’ compensation claims for stress are rarely approved unless they're combined with an eligible physical condition. If stress at work has caused a physical or emotional injury, call us today or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation with an attorney.