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Workplace Safety

3 ways to combat employee stress during holidays

December 23, 2013 - Posted by Jonathan Jacobi

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All aspects of business, including workplace health and safety, suffer when workers become distracted from their job responsibilities. Stress, fatigue and depression are prevalent distractors during the holiday season. It’s in a company’s best interest to address these influences.

Here are three ways:

Promote/establish an employee wellness program. Proper diet, fitness and preventive care are emphasized in wellness programs. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Short days can get a person down. A brisk daytime walk may be all that’s needed. Exercise also helps combat weight gain at times when we have less control over our food choices.

Promote/establish an employee assistance program (EAP). An EAP helps employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health and well-being. While supervisors might be good listeners, there are times when professionally trained counselors are needed. An EAP will promote positive solutions over poorly considered remedies that cause harm (e.g., alcohol abuse).

Promote hazard awareness. Ideally, workers will remain aware of hazards and focused on the task at hand. Even the best employees can momentarily lose focus or become desensitized to risks in their work area. Anticipation of holiday vacation plans can also distract workers. Pre-task planning and awareness training help to keep health and safety concerns top-of-mind.

Distraction caused by stress, fatigue and depression endangers workers on and off the job. We can help ensure a happy and safe holiday season by addressing these influences.

Holiday safety resources

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Mayo Clinic

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Topics: workplace safety