printech, January, 2004
Checklist: Assessing Workplace Stress

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From: Gary Jones (
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2004 23:26:33

- From Occupational Health and Safety ENews at

Checklist: Assessing Workplace Stress

Stress can affect anyone, from computer programmers to assembly line production workers. No matter what type of work you do, if stress is not managed in an effective manner, it can be extremely detrimental to employees. Stress-related medical bills and time away from work can cost employers more than $150 billion a year, and almost 15 percent of workers' compensation claims can be traced back to stress.

Consider the answers to the following questions as they relate to your workplace to help you evaluate the level of stress workers experience, and whether additional stress-prevention measures may be in order.
• Do workers consider their jobs as being too complex, repetitive or monotonous?
• Are workers allowed some control over their job assignments?
• Are workers allowed control over the way they do their work?
• Are workers electronically monitored?
• Are child and elder care programs available?
• Can employees work flexible hours?
• Do workers feel secure in their jobs?
• Do workers feel valued?
• Are workload demands seen as overwhelming, either physically or mentally?
• Do managers and co-workers offer psychological support?
• Is the workplace environmentally safe?
• Do workers feel like managers are committed to safety?
• Has the company been purchased recently?
• Have downsizing or layoffs occurred within the past 12 months?
• Have employee benefits been cut recently?
• Is mandatory overtime frequently required?
• Are the consequences of making mistakes severe?
• Do workloads vary greatly?
• Is work done by machine or fast-paced?
• Do workers have to react quickly and accurately to changing conditions?
• Are there few opportunities for advancement?
• Do workers have to cope with bureaucracy when they attempt their work?
• Are personnel conflicts common on the job?
• Are staffing, money, training and technology inadequate?
• Is the pay competitive?
• Are mental health benefits provided in health care coverage?
• Are workplace policies published and uniformly enforced?
• Are employees recognized and rewarded for contributions?
• Are exercise or other stress reduction classes offered?
• Are employees free to talk with each other during work hours?
• Is there an employee communications program?
• Does management talk openly with employees?
• Are employee work spaces uncrowded?

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