Top 5 Causes of Stress Within Manufacturing

All job sectors incur a certain level of stress, but are there any specific to manufacturing and what impact may this have in the manufacturing sector?

Stress is a major cause of absenteeism and presenteeism in employees, meaning an understaffed and unproductive workplace. This could mean reduced productivity for the manufacturing company, having wider negative impacts.

Health and Safety is greatly important in the manufacturing sector. Knowing what may have an impact upon Health and Safety in the workplace is, therefore, vital. Did you know that stress makes employees more prone to cause accidents? According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE), even people who do not have ongoing mental health problems can have serious accidents as a result of one-off feelings of stress in the workplace.

Knowing what may make manufacturing employees stressed can help a business’ stress management, making a happier, healthier and safer workforce, and could be a key part of absence management.

1)     High demands. Manufacturing is a demanding job, with large production quotas that can often seem daunting. Feeling as though you have too much on your plate can lead to feelings of excessive stress.

2)     Difficult shift patterns. Working long, irregular or unsocial hours can have a significant impact on an individual. As well as being physically demanding if they become tired, irregular or unsocial hours have an effect on other aspects of life, like maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

3)     Job insecurity. In the current financial climate, job security is important to most people. In a sector that has seen reductions in employee numbers, the threat of losing one’s job is higher. This is undoubtedly stressful.

4)     Job control. Many people find the feeling of not being in control of themselves stressful. This is very true in manufacturing, where employees commonly feel a lack of control over their purpose and skills.

5)     Ergonomics. A bad physical work environment is unpleasant. In a physically demanding job, inhospitable environmental conditions can be uncomfortable. Also, a workstation that is poorly designed for use can be very frustrating. This does not relieve feelings of stress, and can even cause it.

By implementing proactive measures to help prevent and identify workplace stress, manufacturing companies can see a reduction in accidents and increase in employee productivity. Workplace training in stress management is a great way of doing this.

How well is your company managing employee stress? Find out by downloading our free ‘Stress Management Provision Checklist’ today.

I am an undergraduate BSc Psychology student at the University of Birmingham. I am driven to banish the stigma surrounding mental illness, and to encourage people to better identify and manage their mental health.

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