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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