Stress and the Workplace

By on February 26th, 2016

Posted in

Let’s face it, work can be stressful. However, when events at your job start to cause emotional and/or physical problems it can become overwhelming. With the constant need for increased productivity and lack of job security found in today’s workplace, stress is a common result. When stress goes untreated, it can cause a variety of problems including headache, depression, anxiety, loss of sleep and loss of productivity at work. If stress from work causes you physical or emotional problems, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

It’s usually something out of the ordinary that takes a physical or emotional toll on a person. Stress in the workplace can be caused by a variety of factors including deadlines, workload, conflicts with co-workers, events outside of work, or a specific event that occurs while at work.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that job stress can lead to poor health and even injury and a study by Princeton Survey Research Associates shows that three-fourths of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago.

If workplace stress causes you adverse physical or mental problems, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

The three specific Workers’ Compensation benefits you are entitled to if you develop stress related symptoms arising directly from the performance of your job are medical treatment provided by your employer, temporary disability benefits and a monetary award based on the degree of permanent physical or mental injury.

Whether a person is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits is based on the source of the stress. The courts in New Jersey have held that an employee who developed high blood pressure, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder caused by questioning by state police regarding workplace theft was entitled to an award of workers’ compensation benefits. So, if an employee is harassed or discriminated against by a supervisor or a firefighter witnesses a fatal injury during a call, these external events arise out of the job, and the resulting stress can cause physical or emotional side effects.

Here’s the catch, the working condition must be stressful when viewed objectively, proven by believable evidence beyond just the perception of the person affected. The stress must be peculiar to the particular workplace as opposed to working conditions found elsewhere. For example, an employee who is laid off cannot usually claim work related stress, because being fired is not peculiar to one type of work. NIOSH points out that certain working conditions are stressful to most people: poor management style, lack of defined work roles, constant job insecurity or exposure to dangerous physical conditions such as excessive noise or pollution are all job conditions that cause stress for most people.

There are a variety of ways to manage stress including counseling, diet and exercise, avoiding the stressful situation and developing successful stress management techniques.

If workplace stress causes you adverse physical or mental problems, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

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Princeton, NJ

993 Lenox Dr, Building 2
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Phone: 609.896.9060
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Marlton, NJ

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Marlton, NJ 08053
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Yardley, PA 19067
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New York, NY 10001
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Philadelphia, PA

The Bellevue 200 S Broad St #600
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Fax: 215.564.6245
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Bridgeton, NJ 08302
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