Employee Safety: Controlling Stress

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Employee safety is an essential part of delivering on your mission. Not only is it important to keep your teams safe for their own sake, but employee injuries can also impact your ability to serve your members and guests. These employee safety documents are designed to keep you informed on important employee safety topics. They can also be used to generate discussion at staff meetings to empower your staff to not only keep your members safe, but to keep themselves and their co-workers safe, too.


Stress can develop in response to negative or positive experiences, and our reactions to stress and the manifestation of symptoms are uniquely different. It can impact our lives in many ways, and can be caused by our performance and relationships at work as well as home. At work, stress can be caused by life changes, an increase in job responsibilities or may develop after a long day of work at an off-site field trip.

No matter the cause—stress can lead to distraction, poor performance and the occurrence of unfortunate accidents and incidents. It’s imperative that you create the time and seek out the resources to deal with work and life’s inevitable changes, challenges and demands.

One key to managing stress is to identify the stressors/situations that are causing you to react:

  • Limited time to complete tasks
  • Transportation challenges
  • Personality clashes

Common stress symptoms might include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Fatigue
  • Tight muscles, especially in the neck and back
  • Irritability and headaches

Some people react to stress by:

  • Eating/drinking too much
  • Losing sleep
  • Smoking cigarettes or using controlled or illegal substances
  • Avoiding interactions with others
  • Minimizing activities, even things that they find enjoyable

Stress is destructive and can make you more susceptible to illnesses such as:

  • The common cold
  • Ulcers
  • Migraines
  • Certain cancers

You can use these three strategies to alleviate stress and cope in more positive and productive ways:

Practice Acceptance: Try not to worry too much about things that are beyond your control, for example, a family illness or policy-changes at work. It may be helpful to think positive thoughts, such as:

  • Someday I’ll laugh about this.
  • It’s a learning experience.

Change Your Perspective: Keep things in perspective by contemplating the weight of the situation, the resources and support system that you have available to help, and the strength you have shown in coping with similar situations before. You may ask yourself:

  • How important is this situation?
  • Who do I know that can help offer support or guidance?
  • What seemed to work/not work so well when I experienced this the last time?

Change Your Attitude: Solutions come easier when you focus on the positive side of the situation you’re facing, which can in turn help to change your attitude. Ask yourself:

  • What good can come out of this?
  • What can I learn from this situation?
  • How can I handle this better when it comes up again?

Stress management is vital for any job. Be careful to implement positive and productive ways to manage your stress not only for your safety and well-being, but for the safety and well-being of those around you.

Please contact your Redwoods consultant for more information.

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