Negative Outcome of Workplace Stress

Source: Evil Erin

Exposure to stress at work can have consequences for workers in any industry however in construction the implications of work related stress may be even greater because they may affect worker health and safety even more.

Construction is an industry full of hazards that if not managed can result in the death of workers, for this reason workers need to be alert and conscious of hazards at all times, because if not they may endanger their lives and the lives of their co-workers.

Short-lived or infrequent exposure to low-level stressors arenot likely to lead to harm, in fact short-term exposure canresult in improved performance but workers that are constantly exposed to stress will soon begin to experience health effects.  Some of the emotional side effects include irritability, anxiety, anger and mood swings and physical effects include headaches, indigestion, tiredness, slow reactions and shortness of breath. Excess stress can also result in mental side effects, including forgetfulness and difficulty making decisions which is when workers safety on the job is jeopardised.

Workers that are overly stressed suffer from diminished performance, withdrawal behaviours, impulsive behaviour and may begin to consume increasing amounts of alcohol and cigarettes.

In the long run workers may suffer cardiovascular disease (CVD), immune deficiency disorders,gastrointestinal disorders, psychiatric/psychological illness(PPI) and musculoskeletal disorders.

The effect on workers work performance is also negative. For construction workers productivity and efficiency may be reduced and job satisfaction, morale and cohesion may decline which ultimately will affect the company’s bottom line. Absenteeism is also likely to increase as well as an increase in the site’s attrition rate.

Perhaps the most dangerous side effect for construction workers is the accidents and injuries that may occur, costing money and lives. Employers should develop ways of dealing with this stress rather than developing a culture of stress and fatigue on their sites because at the end of the day it will affect the site’s productivity negatively.