Psychological Hazards...An Overview
Psychological hazards are elements of the work environment, organizational practices and personal stresses that pose a risk to mental health and well-being on the job site. At jobs where unsafe work causes injury and harm to human health, stress-induced mental health issues can cause preventable accidents from a lack of focus on the task at hand. Whether the worker has problems at home, is overworked, has a conflict with a coworker or is working in less-than-ideal environmental conditions, working under stress often causes complacency, fatigue and distraction, decreases productivity and increases worker exposure to unnecessarily hazardous situations. To optimize job site safety, stress management practices should be used and psychological hazards should be identified, minimized and addressed. Common psychological hazards in the work place include stress resulting from organizational, environmental and personal factors.
Psychological Hazards...Organizational Stress
Work-related stress is a part of every job on every job site. Common organizational factors that affect mental health and induce psychological hazards are based on some type of change, such as a change in daily work schedules, increased work load, a change in the organizational hierarchy or the addition of new equipment or software to learn. Additional organizational factors involve interpersonal relationships with coworkers or management. These types of organizational stress factors includes harassment, aggressive behavior, ineffective communication, conflicting or unreasonable demands or lack of support in decision making.
Psychological Hazards...Environmental Stress
Physical elements in the work environment can cause emotional stress in workers, both immediately and over time. This includes environmental stress from working in unsanitary conditions, poor indoor air quality, inadequate lighting and excessive or repetitive noise, just to name a few.
Psychological Hazards...Personal Stress
While everyone tries to leave their problems at home, it is sometimes unavoidable. psychological hazards resulting from personal stress factors include fatigue from lack of sleep or poor health, work-life conflicts, pre-existing psychological conditions (depression, anxiety, abuse, etc.) and others.
TOOL BOX TALKS: PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS