April is Stress Awareness Month

Relax. Stress Awareness Day is Still a Week Away

For the 18th consecutive year, April 2010 has been designated Stress Awareness Month. During this thirty-day period, health care professionals and health promotion experts across the country are joining forces to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. April 16 -- not coincidentally, the day after income taxes are due in the United States -- is National Stress Awareness Day.

Sponsored by The Health Resource Network (http://www.stresscure.com), a non-profit health education organization, Stress Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in society.

It's probably no surprise (not to readers of OH&S, anyway), but one of the major causes of stress in human life is work/job related. In fact, according to Northwestern National Life, one-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives, contributing to such unpopular side effects as headaches, sleep disturbance, difficulty in concentrating, short temper, upset stomach, low morale, and general life dissatisfaction. The St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. has found that problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than any other life stressor -- more even than financial or family problems.

Because this is so, and in the interest of alleviating this sad and damaging aspect of American life, NIOSH years ago put together a free booklet called "STRESS . . . At Work," and now seems a good time to remind people of its existence.

"Fortunately, research on job stress has greatly expanded in recent years," the NIOSH authors say. "But in spite of this attention, confusion remains about the causes, effects, and prevention of job stress. This booklet summarizes what is known about job stress and what can be done about it." In its examination of the causes and scope of stress in the American workplace, the agency delineates its approach to the problem and throughout offers tips from expert sources such as American Psychologist, which offers the following suggestions for employers on "How to Change the Organization to Prevent Job Stress":

  • Ensure that the workload is in line with workers' capabilities and resources.
  • Design jobs to provide meaning, stimulation, and opportunities for workers to use their skills.
  • Clearly define workers' roles and responsibilities.
  • Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions and actions affecting their jobs.
  • Improve communications-reduce uncertainty about career development and future employment prospects.
  • Provide opportunities for social interaction among workers.
  • Establish work schedules that are compatible with demands and responsibilities outside the job.

"Although it is not possible to give a universal prescription for preventing stress at work, it is possible to offer guidelines on the process of stress prevention in organizations," NIOSH says. "In all situations, the process for stress prevention programs involves three distinct steps: problem identification, intervention, and evaluation." The booklet outlines these steps and notes that workplaces interested in instituting a stress prevention program should, at a minimum, include the following:

  • Build general awareness about job stress (causes, costs, and control)
  • Secure top management commitment and support for the program
  • Incorporate employee input and involvement in all phases of the program
  • Establish the technical capacity to conduct the program (e.g., specialized training for in-house staff or use of job stress consultants)

To read or download the booklet (NIOSH Publication No. 99-101), go to www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/.

Download Center

  • Hand Safety Program

    Hand injuries are the #1 preventable industrial accident worldwide. In REThink Hand Safety, the most comprehensive book on hand safety, you'll learn how top companies have reduced hand injuries by up to 90% and what the most successful hand safety programs have in common. Get your free copy today.

  • Free 1-on-1 Consultations

    Get a free meeting with a Superior Glove hand safety expert and learn how to have less hand injuries, lower PPE costs, and increase worker productivity. 1-on-1 consultations provide you with personalized advice and recommendations for your specific needs and concerns.

  • Glove 101 Guide

    In this comprehensive guide, we've compiled all the key information you need to know about safety gloves to help you make informed decisions when choosing gloves for your workers. Whether you're new to the world of safety gloves or an experienced pro, this guide has something for everyone.

  • Sample Program

    Find the right safety gloves for your team and try before you buy—in just 3 easy steps! Simply add the products to your sample box, complete the request form, and wait for your samples to arrive at no cost to you.

  • Cut Protection Product Guide

    Find the right safety gloves for your workers to protect them from cut hazards. This guide offers a wide selection of gloves, including ultra-thin gloves with the industry’s maximum cut resistance for unbeatable dexterity and touch sensitivity.

  • Superior Glove

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - February March 2023

    February March 2023


      Does Real-Time Data Enhance Gas Detection Programs?
      Hearing Protection: The Dangers of Non-Compliance
      Personal Protective Equipment: The Pains of Staying Pain-Free
      Reframing Eyewear: Meeting Workforce Needs with Technology and Advancements
    View This Issue