Thursday, December 22, 2011

Go Green & Environmentally Friendly- Community Designs in Mind/Reason for Giving

Environmentally friendly concept!!

...designed to fit harmoniously
...a common vision for communities
...meets the needs of all people
...beneficial to affected communities and neighborhoods

from an interesting concept in transportation redesign, excerpt from NJDOT

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The US Spends $300 Billion Dollar Workman's Compensation Claims/Organizational Development and Managing Professionals

Organizational Development and Managing Professionals
Dr. Sheila Shaw, Ph.D./D.B.A/M.B.A

Stress intervention and strategies to lower, eliminate and prevent occupational stress, the
harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of a job do not
match the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker, in the workplace is the investment
organizations and employees are making in their in their lives to live productively, lessen health
related illnesses and prevent costly accidents, injury or business loss
Good stress, called eustress, provides stimulation, excitement, and a competitive edge...
Bad stress is said to be the “physiological reaction to external and internal events.” The mind
and body become unable to relax after continued stressful events. Burnout is the physical,
emotional, and mental response to constant, unmanaged high levels of stress.
Stress builds until a person feels he can no longer control his world. The result is that he
becomes paralyzed, unable to act. Sometimes these physical and psychological problems
become severe enough to cause illness and a complete inability to function. The worker feels
overwhelmed and his or her career is actually threatened.
Employee stress is a concern to organizations and management because daily anxiety wears
down a person's ability to perform at the top of his or her game and can lead to costly mistakes.
The investment in employee related stress busters, and programs such as employee assistance
programs are interventions derived from the diagnosis of stress in the workplace. The notion
of health "protection" refers to intervention in the work environment to reduce worker exposures
to workplace hazards, while health "promotion" refers to individual-level interventions to equip
workers with knowledge and resources to improve their health and thereby resist hazards in the
work environment.
* stress carries a $300 billion price tag for U.S. industries In a recent Gallup Poll, 80
percent of workers said they feel stress on the job. Nearly half said they need help in learning
how to manage stress, and 42 percent said their coworkers need help in coping with stress.
* The annual cost of depression to the U.S. economy is estimated at $44 billion. Today,
depression and associated pharmacy costs are the leading financial expenditures in health care
* stress is implicated in 60 to 90 percent of medical problems that can cost the average
company up to 45 percent of its after-tax profits.
Stress adds to the cost of doing business in many ways.
· Absenteeism Stressed-out employees miss work both as a coping mechanism and due
to health-related problems. Workers experiencing high stress are over two times more likely to
be absent more than five times per year.
· Stress-related claims fall under workers compensation claims
Symptoms of Stress
Physical symptoms include: feeling fatigued, exhausted, or drained, irritability/lower tolerance
levels, muscle tension, achy joints, headaches, upset stomach or loss of appetite, susceptibility
to illness
Emotional symptoms include depression/hopelessness, frustration,loss of self-esteem, feeling
powerless or trapped, and anxiety/nervousness
Behavioral symptoms include: inability to laugh at daily situations, social withdrawal from
coworkers, peers, and family members, change in job performance: increased tardiness or
absenteeism and decreased efficiency or productivity, self-medication—increased use of
alcohol, tranquilizers, or other mood-altering drugs
Stress Reduction Strategies
Have a stress-control plan
"Command and Control" techniques
• destroy counterproductive, stress-producing habits
• adopt new, effective habits
• become mentally tough, emotionally in control
• communicate in a positive way
Don’t wait until things spiral out of control. Use the following strategies to control and lower the
levels of stress in your life.:
· Keep your sense of humor
· Pace yourself
Use good time management strategies to help manage your workload. Set realistic deadlines
and goals. Identify job activities that could be simplified or delegated and create contingency
plans to deal with unexpected events.
· Reinforcement
Value yourself and your contribution to the company. Do the best work you can, even if you feel
no one is noticing. Share your achievements with your boss. Vow to keep a positive outlook.
· Release stressful feelings
Being frequently angry, filled with rage or anxiety, and is not healthy. Find a sport or exercise
that works for you and make sure to schedule time for regular physical activity. If you become
stressed out at work, take a brisk walk to help release pent up emotions and aid the body in
eliminating harmful chemicals.
· Practice good nutrition
Stress robs your body of needed vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B and vitamin C,
potassium, calcium, and zinc. A number of studies have concluded that stress increases one’s
susceptibility to illness. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, maintaining a balanced diet and
limiting the amount of caffeine, nicotine, and sugar promotes health and improves your ability to
handle difficult situations.
· Talk to someone
Have an emotional outlet. Share your burden; discuss stressful events with another person.
Often an associate, friend/loved one or Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor can
help you see the lighter side or offer a fresh approach to a problem.
· Take time for yourself
Take stress breaks during the day. Stretch at your desk. Take short vacations away from the
job at least twice a year. It is important to take time off for yourself especially during stressful
· Understand stress triggers.
· Support stress-relief programs.
· Offer mental-health benefits.
Employer practitioners in diagnosing stress in the workplace are implementing:
* development of improved methods and tools for job stress research, including
surveillance instruments to better understand how the organization of work is changing
* studies to further understand how workplace stress contributes to illness, injury at
work, and disease development, including study of intervening factors and laboratory-based
research of underlying biological mechanisms
* investigations of stress in understudied populations, occupations and sectors
* studies to better understand the socioeconomic cost and burden of job stress
* studies to identify effective multilevel intervention strategies to prevent stress at work
3 Websites relating to Stress, one page summary
How to avoid stress-related disability claims
Article Abstract:
Stress-related disability cases brought against employers represent 11 percent of all
occupational disease claims. The three types of stress-related claims against employers are:
(1) mental impairment caused by physical injury, (2) physical illness caused by stress, and
(3) mental disability caused by stress. Stress-related disability claims are governed by state
laws. Several stress-related disability cases heard in Pennsylvania courts are briefly discussed.
Because the most common causes of stress involve supervisory conduct or employer action
or inaction, minimization of stress-related claims can be achieved by training supervisors
in: interpersonal skills, employee evaluation, employee motivation, employee counseling,
disciplining and discharging employees, supervisory skills, and conflict management. Other
stress-preventing measures include: hiring employees to fit job requirements,instituting
employee wellness programs, and implementing employee assistance plans.
author: Voluck, Philip R., Abramson, Herbert

Thursday, December 15, 2011