Vital to manage work-related stress, advises Lee

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Safety first: Lee (second from left) visiting a booth after launching the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

BANGI: Poorly managed work-related stress not only impacts the health of employees but is also bad for the productivity of a company.

National Institute of Occupa­tional Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye stressed this point during the institute’s observance of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work yesterday.

“Work-related stress is one of the most challenging issues in occupational safety and health today, and it is a growing concern around the world,” said Lee.

“If an employee’s stress is not handled well, it could affect not just the individual, but also the company and the workplace.”

He pointed out that employees who were too stressed could fall sick, giving rise to absenteeism or be less mentally fit to work, ma­king workplace accidents more likely and reduce the overall productivity of the workforce.

The focus on workplace stress is in line with the theme for this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work – “Workplace Stress: A Collective Challenge”.

In his opening speech, Lee acknowledged that stress at the workplace could originate from a wide range of causes such as excessive workload, lack of role clarity, poor management, ineffective communication, interpersonal conflicts and sexual harassment.

However, he added that mana­ging workplace stress was a res­ponsibility that companies shared with their employees.

“It is necessary to create organisational function and culture that can reduce workplace stress, and organisations can implement plans to create a healthy psychosocial work environment,” said Lee.

Some suggestions for organisations to address workplace stress include designating days for fun events such as family day, or providing counselling to employees who exhibit marked differences in behaviour.

Niosh invited industry people, vocational students and represen­tatives from the Bangi Industry Administrative Association to attend a one-day session at their headquarters.

Participants explored a variety of display booths that featured safe­­ty equipment and info­graphics, and attended seminars on the understanding and management of workplace stress.

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