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Mental Health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic and what employers can do Part 2

Mental Health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic and what employers can do Part 2

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AS WE CONCLUDE OUR series on mental health in the workplace, it is apt to end with the Christmas stress and its impact on employees.

This season is undoubtedly the most profitable for many businesses and at the same time, it is also the most demanding for employees of those businesses. Safe-Start blog and Corporate Wellness Magazine share tips on addressing safety concerns and holiday stress in the workplace.

Here are three to note:
Fatigue:
It is likely that employees will experience fatigue during the Christmas season due to extra tasks and responsibilities. Coupled with their responsibility to satisfy and give customers priority, they will be dealing with their personal demands – house/home and family and friends.
Mental Health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic and what employers can do Part 2

Whether or not employees are employed in high-risk jobs, fatigue can be a big area of concern. Near misses and accidents in the workplace occur when employees are tired and overwhelmed.

Rushing and frustration: Employees’ emotional state is often affected by the added pressure that is associated with the Christmas Season. The change of pace causes them to become frustrated, and frustration causes them to unintentionally create hazards, forget important things, behave impatiently or become irritable. They are also more likely to slip, trip or fall, bump into colleagues and equipment or forget to do small but important tasks.

Ladder safety: Especially if employees are working in storerooms, department stores, or as part of a maintenance team, they may be asked to retrieve items and install or fix something.

“With ladders being used more frequently around the holidays, it’s important to provide a refresher on ladder safety. For example, employees should ensure the ladder is stable before using it. Keep three points of contact at all times and never place a ladder on a surface other than the ground.”

In closing, the more you do for employees, the more they will do for you.

Now is a good time to reiterate “safety first.” Have daily pep talks – encourage employees to take the time to have breakfast and to stop for lunch. If they are required to work into the late evening, enquire about how they will be getting home. “It’s important for management to make it clear to employees— through actions as much as words—that their safety is more important than rushing through a job.”

Additionally, “incorporate wellness breaks to give them a chance to refocus.

Help them to prioritize tasks. Motivate them to work as a team and to share the workload.” Encourage them to be responsible, to mask up, social distance and to stay at home if unwell and finally, “educate them about financial wellness.”

“Take time to appreciate employees and they will reciprocate in a thousand ways.” Bob Nelson

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