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Stress and workplace accidents

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 5:36 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Concerns about health and contracting the COVID virus, or a loved one becoming infected. Wondering how a child’s kid’s education is going.? How the election will turn out? Worrying about loss of job and health insurance? These questions and concerns aren’t just isolated to a few people.

“It would be difficult to find anybody in the world right now, that doesn’t have a significantly higher amount of stress,” says Psychologist Dr. Barbara Kohlenberg with University of Nevada School of Medicine Psychiatry Department.

Dr. Kohlenberg says stress is perfectly normal. It’s when stress is not acknowledged, or when it is suppressed with drinking or drugs when problems arise.

A single focus on stress can even lead to accidents in the workplace.

Working with heavy machinery it may mean forgetting to take necessary precautions, like wearing safety equipment or becoming unaware of your surroundings.

Office work may seem simple enough, but what about lifting heavy items, tripping on cords, or not noticing when flooring is wet?

If a job involves driving, a seat belt may not be used, or the driver may forget to look behind him as he changes lanes or backs up.

Dr. Kohlenberg says right next to the stress are those things which are held dear. The idea she says is to accept the stress and move towards those things that are important.

Dr. Kohlenberg says right next to the stress are those things which are held dear. The idea she says is to accept the stress and move towards those t hings that are important.

Zoom, phone calls, even letters she says will help make connections that are important.

“I’m only miserable because how much I value relationships. And then people say, I don’t care for Zoom,” says Dr. Kohlenberg of those who have trouble understanding how connections can be made at this time. “So what? Nobody cares for Zoom. We don’t like Zoom. That is not our preferred way. But you can make real important meaningful connections on Zoom, just as you can on the telephone. It doesn’t mean it is not meaningful,” she says.

For those who feel overwhelmed, she says take advantage of workplace services. Those services provide professionals who can be contacted by phone or the internet.

Locally Crisis Support Services can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

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