Understanding workplace stress on agenda at Upper Island Safety Conference

Understanding and Preventing Stress in the Workplace is one of 18 educational sessions at the 2016 Upper Island Safety Conference and Tradeshow May 30-31 in Campbell River.

Sheila Moir, facilitator/coordinator for the BCFed OHS Centre, will be speaking about the topic, so I gave her a call to find out what she has in store.

The first thing she told me is what it’s not about.

Stressed, photo by Carrie Nelson on Flickr

Stressed by Carrie Nelson on Flickr

“This is not a course in how to manage your stress. This is a course to find out what are the contributing factors at your workplace,” she said, describing some of the things that can lead to stress in workers.

For example, look at bullying and harassment – two problems that can be very stressful and lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

“Bullying and harassment is now considered a health and safety hazard subject to enforcement by the Board,” Sheila said, noting WorkSafeBC’s OHS Policies for Bullying and Harassment.

Stress can also originate from many other sources, including air quality, ventilation, noise levels, lighting, workload, shift work, fatigue, and more.

“From a health and safety perspective, the more fatigued workers get, the more stressed out they are, which affects their ability to pay attention, to make decisions, to be aware of what’s going on around them,” Sheila said. “When all of those things become eroded, then workers are more likely to be at risk of an injury.”

This is the seventh year the Strathcona Regional District has hosted this conference designed for safety committee members; facility supervisors and managers; safety officers and professionals; safety business owners and sales reps; and anyone else responsible for safety at work.

Other topics include hazard assessments, preventing violence in the workplace, what’s new for first aid, the role of WorkSafeBC, workplace inspections, natural gas safety, and more.

Have a look at the registration package if you’re interested in attending.


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