Six Ways to Reduce Work Stress for Safety Managers
It’s hard to build a safety culture when you’re tearing your hair out. Being responsible for the safety of your employees is a huge job in the best of times. Add in a pandemic along with a struggling economy and your stress level may be off the charts. Cuts and lacerations, arc-flash, slips, trips, and falls – all the hazards you normally deal with are still part of the job, but now you need masks and social distancing guidelines, too. How can you keep your sanity with all you have to do? Try these six tips!
Stress Relievers to Make Your Job Easier
1. Plan Time to Plan
No matter what else is going on in the world, your company’s leaders expect production as usual and your customers are still looking to get their orders filled. That doesn’t mean you have to start putting out fires the moment you arrive for the day. Take ten minutes first thing in the morning to clear your head and organize and plan your schedule for the day or even for the week. Use digital calendars and planner apps to keep you organized and block out time when you need it. There’s nothing wrong with a planning meeting you schedule with yourself!
2. Reassess Your Routines and Schedules
Time is the biggest constraint for most safety managers. Carve out some time to audit your work schedules and daily routines to find inefficiencies. Although reworking larger operations can be a massive investment of time and energy, making smaller changes can be a fast and easy way to cut out redundant tasks and find opportunities to delegate.
3. Delegate Tasks to your People
You can’t do it all yourself. Delegating tasks to some of your best employees will free up your time and give you more breathing room in your busy schedule. Your safety committee is a good place to find enthusiastic employees who want to make your workplace safer and perhaps even move up the ladder to take on more responsibility. Find your safety leaders and leverage them to reduce your own stress!
Stress Relievers to Take Care of Yourself
4. Monitor your Stressors
Never forget that you’re just as human as your employees! Chronic stress can lead to symptoms like anxiety and high blood pressure as well as unhealthy coping habits like overeating. If you recognize situations that cause stress symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, anger, or frustration, take a moment to consciously note what set that stress in motion. Over time, you may be able to recognize these stressors when they occur so you can figure out how to change what’s causing them. For example, if you find yourself stressing every time you need to remind employees to wear their safety glasses, you can think about implementing new mentoring or training programs or even posting more safety reminders to take some of the pressure off of you.
5. Give Yourself a Break
When you feel the stress building, take a moment to step back and re-center your focus. Get up and stretch or walk around to get your blood flowing and switch your focus for a short while. Even closing your eyes and concentrating on your breathing for a few moments can slow your heartbeat and stabilize your blood pressure to help you think more clearly when you return to the task at hand.
6. Establish Boundaries
Establish boundaries to start or end your day on a controlled, focused note. Listen to music, your favorite sports radio, or a book on tape during your commute instead of thinking about work. After work, avoid checking your phone during dinner or family time so you can maintain a firm barrier between your work life and your home life, when possible.
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