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Work-related Stress

Work-related Stress

Work-related Stress is the reaction people have to excessive work-related pressures or other types of demand placed on them. While there may be some disagreement over an exact definition, most people believe that it is a serious problem in their organisations.

 

Work-related Stress Surveys

Various work-related stress surveys found that stress is a significant issue at work. Majority of surveyed employees claim they had taken time off work due to stress. Basically, stress is thought to pose a relatively high risk. However, it is often the least well controlled of all risks at work.

Pressures exist in all aspects of people’s lives. There is even some evidence that we need pressure to be able to function at maximum effectiveness. Be that as it may, the responses to pressure, physical and mental, can be damaging if required to continue beyond the short term. Psychological, and physical illness caused by work-related stress can result in anxiety, depression, heart diseases and other serious medical conditions.

 

Work-related Stress Contributing Factors

Factors which may contribute to stress in the workplace include:

There are a number of additional factors which can be a cause of work-related stress. Isolating one or more of these factors as a cause of a particular stress problem is difficult. This is because most of these factors are inter-related.

 

Dealing with Work-related Stress

Stress at work is believed to reduce the individual’s effectives, increase absenteeism and labour turnover. In addition, it may increase the likelihood of injury.

Each employer has an obligation to ensure that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health of employees is not endangered in the course of their work.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has a number of useful resources that can be used in managing work related stress. For instance, one of these resources is WorkpositiveCI. WorkpositiveCI has been developed by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA)State Claims Agency (SCA) and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Network Ireland. It is a free, easy to use, innovative, confidential, psychosocial risk management process that provides feedback on workplace stress.  In addition, it looks into employee psychological wellbeing and critical incident exposure in the workplace. As a matter of fact, it is designed to deliver structured guidance enabling organisations to develop an action plan to mitigate against these stressors.

In addition, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has published a number of useful guidance, publications and resources on workplace stress.

Another beneficial course is a fully online Working Safely course. Working Safely is a 2 hour online course for people at any level, in any sector, that will boost business performance and staff motivation. Simply by showing how everyone can enhance their safety, health and wellbeing through everyday behaviours. The topics include importance of working safely, definitions of hazards and risks, common workplace hazards and how to improve safety performance.

 

Online Health and Safety Training

Proactive Health and Safety training is critical to ensure a safe workplace. An effective training program can reduce the number of worker injuries and deaths. It can also reduce instances of property damage, legal liability, illnesses, and missed time from work.

Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. It is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. The role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.

This is why we have established Myelearnsafety school. We pride ourselves in how we guide, support and mentor our students. They receive support throughout their learning experience and into their working lives. Our staff have extensive training experience and also have many years industry experience. We understand the challenges that exist within Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety. Our priority is to ensure that all learners are fully prepared to differentiate themselves in the workplace after completing our Health and Safety courses.

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Health and Safety courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

elearn-safety-work-related-stress

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

Asbestos Exposure at Work

Asbestos exposure at work is the primary cause of mesothelioma and asbestosis. Being around asbestos puts people at risk for several types of cancer and serious pulmonary diseases. While asbestos was widely used in construction until recently, some occupations have higher risks of exposure to asbestos in the workplace.

 

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring mineral silicates. Asbestos is strong, inert, resilient and flexible and therefore almost indestructible. On paper, this material would appear as the ideal material. Indeed, until recently it was used in a wide range of products requiring heat resistance and insulation properties. However, today we know without doubt that asbestos is responsible for asbestos-related diseases such as cancers of the chest and lungs. These diseases will not occur immediately and can take from 15 – 60 years to develop.

There is no safe level of exposure to any form of asbestos! For additional information about asbestos in the workplace, please see eLearn Safety blog entry from 16th June 2023 titled Asbestos in the Workplace.

 

Why is Asbestos Exposure Dangerous?

Asbestos exposure is very dangerous. Asbestos produces its effects because of the size, strength, sharpness and rugged shape of the tiny fibers it releases. In addition, some of its chemical characteristics play a role. The health hazards arise when these small fibres become airborne and enter the body. The body’s natural defence mechanisms can reject large, visible dust particles and fibres. Unfortunately, small fibres reaching inner tissues are those that are both difficult to remove and the most damaging. They are particularly dangerous because they cannot be seen by the naked eye under normal circumstances. Furthermore, they are too small (less than 5 microns in length) to be trapped by conventional dust filter masks.

To learn some essential information about asbestos hazards, we recommend the eLearn Safety fully online Asbestos Awareness course. The aim of this course is to provide information on the identification and the prevention of occupational illness from exposure to respirable asbestos fibres.

 

Asbestos Exposure at Work

Asbestos exposure at work mostly refers to construction related activities. However, not only construction workers can become exposed to asbestos. In addition to construction workers, firefighters, industrial workers, power plant workers, shipyard workers and any other persons exposed to asbestos dust can become affected.

Asbestos found in construction work is usually encountered in the demolition or refurbishments processes. However, even simple jobs such as drilling partitions or removing ceiling tiles can disturb asbestos dust. It is important to be aware that asbestos can be found in composite materials such as concrete products and tiles. Asbestos was used as an additive in these products to provide strength, durability and flame resistance. Therefore, neither the colour nor the fibrous look of a substance is a reliable guide. The only reliable identification of the presence of the asbestos is by microscopic analysis in the laboratory. It is therefore safe to assume that any building built (or refurbished) in Ireland before the year 2000 might contain asbestos. A detailed survey will be required to identify where asbestos is present in your building. An asbestos survey must be carried out by a competent person.

 

The Law

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations, 2006 and 2010 are the key regulations relating to asbestos in the workplace. In simple terms, any work with asbestos insulation (for example, pipe/ thermal insulation), asbestos coatings (for example, ‘limpet’ spray coating) or asbestos insulating board must be carried out by competent specialist asbestos contractors. Any maintenance or repair work with asbestos insulation, spray coatings or asbestos insulating board should be restricted to specialist asbestos contractors. Specialised training is required for workers involved – see Section 9 of the HSA Guidance Document.

All asbestos removal or abatement work must be carried out by competent persons who have sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to the nature of the work to be undertaken. This must include practical training. An asbestos awareness course is not sufficient. The asbestos awareness course is a general asbestos awareness course recommended for anyone in the construction industry for general asbestos awareness.

Section 12 of the HSA Guidance Document provides advice on selection of a specialist asbestos contractor.

 

Online Health and Safety Training

Proactive Health and Safety training is critical to ensure a safe workplace. An effective training program can reduce the number of worker injuries and deaths. It can also reduce instances of property damage, legal liability, illnesses, and missed time from work.

Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. It is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. The role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.

This is why we have established Myelearnsafety school. We pride ourselves in how we guide, support and mentor our students. They receive support throughout their learning experience and into their working lives. Our staff have extensive training experience and also have many years industry experience. We understand the challenges that exist within Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety. Our priority is to ensure that all learners are fully prepared to differentiate themselves in the workplace after completing our Health and Safety courses.

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Health and Safety courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

eLearn asbestos-exposure-at-work

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day is marked around the world on the 28th April each year. On this date we remember those who have been killed or injured in work related incidents.

workers-memorial-day

The Grim Statistics

Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2016 all employers and self-employed persons are legally obliged to report the injury of an employee as a result of an accident while at work. In particular, injuries must be reported if an employee is unable to carry out their normal work for more than three consecutive days, excluding the day of the accident.

The work-related injuries include any injuries incurred by workers in the course of their work. To clarify, these injuries can range from minor injuries to the most serious injuries that resulted in death. According to the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland and the Health and Safety Statistics they publish, the following is workplace fatalities statistics for years 2013 – 2022:

The total number of fatalities for the period 2013/22 is staggering 462.

Workplace Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities (2021–2022) – Full Report.

 

Non-Fatal Injuries Reported to the HSA

It is not only fatalities that can leave a lasting mark and cause human suffering. Of course, the physical and mental pain, and hardship in general resulting from injury and disability is impossible to quantify. The disruption to lives of workers and their families it causes is far reaching with lasting consequences.

In summary, in 2022, 9,070 non-fatal injuries were reported to the HSA which is an increase of 8% from the 8,371 reported in 2021. For example, the most injured body part for workers in 2022 was the back, associated with 26% of non-fatal incidents reported to the Authority. This is in keeping with recent years, with back injuries comprising 27% of all non-fatal injuries reported to the Authority between 2018 and 2022. Non-fatal back injuries were caused primarily by manual handling incidents.

 

Workplace Accidents

Accidents are a direct result of unsafe activities and unsafe conditions. These can be controlled by proactive management practices and employee awareness. The Management is responsible for the creation and maintenance of the working environment and work-related tasks. To prevent workplace injuries and illness the employer must:

Employees must be given information, and the knowledge that accidents are not inevitable but are caused. They need training to develop skills and recognise the need to comply with safe systems of work. Furthermore, they should take an active role in developing said safe systems of work and report and correct unsafe conditions and practices. Without doubt, employee safety awareness and attitudes require constant review and improvement where necessary.

 

The Purpose of Workers’ Memorial Day

The purpose of Workers’ Memorial Day is to remember those who have been killed or injured in work related incidents. However, the purpose of this day is more than just remembrance. Indeed, the purpose is to promote a safe work climate and culture, one which fosters good workplace safety and health practices and conditions. For additional information about workplace safety, please see eLearn Safety blog entry from 21st April 2023 titled Workplace Accidents and Their Prevention. In addition, a blog entry Workplace Hazards from 24th February 2023 provides some additional information about hazards in the workplace. For example, it looks into how to identify and address workplace hazards.

Accident prevention in the workplace is not just setting up a list of rules and enforcing these. Having said this, the rules are certainly important but they are and should be part of a larger picture – developing and managing a system for managing health and safety. Worker safety and health is everyone’s business and can only be tackled through a collaborative approach by all.

 

Workers’ Memorial Day 2024

We must remember those who have lost their lives at work, or from work-related injury and diseases. In addition, remembrance must be coupled with the commitment to fight for a world that’s more, not less, safe to live and work in.

To mark Workers’ Memorial Day 2024 there are a range of initiatives that your organisation should consider including:

It is very important to have an effective occupational health management system in place. Overall, there are sound economic reasons for reducing work-related accidents and ill-health, as well as ethical and regulatory reasons. Markedly, businesses that manage safety and health successfully invariably have a positive safety culture. Without a doubt, Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. With this in mind, it is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. In other words, the role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.

 

Online Health and Safety Training

Proactive Health and Safety training is critical to ensure a safe workplace. An effective training program can reduce the number of worker injuries and deaths. It can also reduce instances of property damage, legal liability, illnesses, and missed time from work.

Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. It is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. The role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.

This is why we have established Myelearnsafety school. We pride ourselves in how we guide, support and mentor our students. They receive support throughout their learning experience and into their working lives. Our staff have extensive training experience and also have many years industry experience. We understand the challenges that exist within Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety. Our priority is to ensure that all learners are fully prepared to differentiate themselves in the workplace after completing our Health and Safety courses.

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Health and Safety courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

Reasons for Promoting Workplace Safety

Reasons for promoting workplace safety are numerous. Poor workplace safety can have serious business costs, human costs and legal costs. In addition, the need to protect people from injury and disease while they are at work has a strong moral reasoning. Every year, accidents at work cost the Irish industry millions of euros. The effects of the injuries sustained vary from needing an extended period of time off work, never being able to work again, to sometimes unfortunately, injuries being fatal.

 

Four Main Reasons for Promoting Workplace Safety

There are many reasons why accident prevention in the workplace is worthwhile. For the purpose of this text we will discuss four:

  1. The cost of human suffering. The physical and mental pain, and hardship in general resulting from death and disability is impossible to quantify. The disruption to lives of workers and their families it causes is far reaching with lasting consequences.
  2. Moral reasons. Societal development raised public awareness about quality of life at work and its importance. Workers safety, once seen as unimportant or marginally important business activity is now expected by the society in general. The business is viewed by the public through its treatment of its employees. This might directly influence employee attraction and retention rates and business profitability or lack of one.
  3. Legal reasons. The statute law details steps to be taken and objectives to be met in terms of workplace health and safety. Compliance is not optional – it is mandatory. Non compliance might result in serious legal prosecutions, or other enforcement actions. In addition, the civil law enables injured workers and others to gain compensation either as a result of breach of statutory duties or because a reasonable standard of care was not provided under the particular circumstances.
  4. Financial reasons. To ensure the continuing financial health of a business and to avoid the costs associated with accidents, implementation of accident prevention is a must.

 

Health and Safety Legislation

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is the statutory body in Ireland responsible for the enforcement of occupational health and safety law. The HSA reports directly to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Health and Safety legislation in Ireland is designed to secure and improve the Safety, Health and Welfare of people at work. Specifically, this is done by advocating a risk assessment approach to managing workplace safety. For additional information about risk assessments, please see eLearn Safety blog entry from 12th January 2024 titled Workplace Risk Assessment.

The main health and safety regulations in Ireland are the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and Safety, Health and welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007. The Act 2005 applies to employers, employees and the self-employed. Indeed, this is done in the interest of securing a preventive approach to occupational health and safety. In addition, the GA Regulations 2007 outline the specific workplace safety matters.

 

Achieving Workplace Safety

There are many obstacles to the achievement of safe working conditions. Specifically, most common obstacles are the pressure of production or performance targets, financial constraints and the complexity of the organisations. Unfortunately, these obstacles are sometimes blatant disregard of basic health and safety regulations and poor health and safety management practices.

In difficult economic times, organisations need to reduce their costs. This often impacts on the management of health and safety. For example, training of workers in safe systems of work or plant equipment maintenance could be neglected. One way to keep staff informed about workplace safety is eLearn Safety fully online Workplace Safety – Level 1 course. This course is ideal for every employee in any workplace that’s subject to Health and Safety Legislation. In other words, safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility. In particular, it provides all employees who participate on this course with information on how to identify hazards and carry out simple risk assessments.

 

Online Health and Safety Training

Proactive Health and Safety training is critical to ensure a safe workplace. An effective training program can reduce the number of worker injuries and deaths. It can also reduce instances of property damage, legal liability, illnesses, and missed time from work.

Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. It is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. The role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.

This is why we have established Myelearnsafety school. We pride ourselves in how we guide, support and mentor our students. They receive support throughout their learning experience and into their working lives. Our staff have extensive training experience and also have many years industry experience. We understand the challenges that exist within Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety. Our priority is to ensure that all learners are fully prepared to differentiate themselves in the workplace after completing our Health and Safety courses.

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Health and Safety courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email info@elearn.ie

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training

eLearn Online Health and Safety Training