Rise in stress levels prompts major survey of OH workers

A
major survey of stress levels among OH professionals is to be carried out in
the autumn, amid fears that rising workplace pressures are leading OH nurses to
overlook the symptoms of stress in themselves.

Safety
First Aid Group, which provides first-aid supplies and training and OH jobs
through the agency OH Recruitment, hopes to conduct the survey of 3,000 OH
professionals and job seekers during August and September.

“Even
if we just get a 10 per cent response rate, it will be worthwhile,” said Paul
Thomas of Safety First Aid. “People within OH are becoming much more interested
in their careers, and so are more interested in these issues.”

The
study will ask detailed questions about the things that stress OH nurses in the
workplace, and the sort of support mechanisms available to them.

It
has been prompted by a snapshot survey carried out by OH Recruitment that finds
71 per cent of OH nurses blame their bosses for their own workplace stress.

The
internet survey of more than 400 OH professionals shows demanding schedules,
were high on the list of workplace stressors, cited by 21 per cent of
respondents. Long hours, at 5 per cent, and work colleagues, at 3 per cent,
were seen as lesser issues.

Sue
Lamb, director of OH Recruitment, said the fact that so many OH nurses had been
prepared to take part proved stress is an issue for the profession.

“OH
nurses regularly advise on a wide variety of simple and complex health and
safety issues in the workplace,” she said. “Sadly, sometimes they are too busy
to remember to look after themselves.”

Others
in the profession put the blame squarely on employers, arguing that a lack of
real understanding about what OH does and too few resources, exacerbated
workload and stress levels.

Stress
consultant Carole Spiers said: “OH nurses and personnel need to look at what is
happening in their own departments. It’s all very well being the expert on
stress, but do they give that support and time to their own teams?”

Comments are closed.