Ten Steps to Manage Work Stress

  1. Improve your time management and organization skills.
  2. Of the many things you can to in this area the best ones include getting a to do list that works, learning to say “no”, asking for help when you need it, and stop setting unrealistic goals for yourself.
  3. Relax and breathe deeply.
    Whether you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount or work you have to do or if someone is “in your face”, a good thing to do is to “breathe through your nose”. You can’t get as worked up if you force yourself to breathe through your nose. Your body simply can’t maintain the same level of energy without that extra oxygen you get when breathing through your mouth.
  4. Take more breaks from your work.
    Even a five-minute break will help. Get away from your desk. Go for a walk – outside is better, but up two flights of stairs and back down is good too. Getting more exercise in general will help you reduce your overall stress levels and that will make it easier to reduce your stress level at work.
  5. Lighten up.
    Smile more. We all know laughter reduces stress. You will be amazed at how much more pleasant the people around you are when you make an effort to be pleasant yourself.
  6. Learn to listen better.
    Rather than getting upset when others disagree with you, listen actively and find the areas of agreement. Be assertive and stand up for yourself, but don’t be rigid.
  7. Fix your environment.
    Make whatever adjustments you need to the lighting, temperature, noise level, and other controllable factors in your office.
  8. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
    Realize that there are some things that just aren’t worth worrying about and there are some things you just can’t change. Don’t waste time stressing over the things in either category.
  9. Get more sleep.
    This is another of the things you can do to reduce your overall stress that will have benefits at the office as well. In addition to reducing your stress, it will increase your energy level and your ability to concentrate.
  10. Find a mentor
    If not a mentor, a friend will do. Having someone to talk to can take a lot of stress off you.
  11. Spend more time with optimistic people.
    Negative people will pull you down to their level. Choose to work with people who have a positive attitude instead.

Zappos.com Hacked

HACKERS CRACKED into online shoe powerhouse Zappos.com, stealing the personal information of 24 million customers, official said. Shoe shoppers were shocked to check their inboxes Monday to find notices from the company telling them that their information had been compromised and asking them to change their passwords. In the email to customers, the company said “there may have been illegal and unauthorized access” to customer information including names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers and the last four digits of customers credit card numbers.

via WSJ Professional Article – WSJ.com.

Risk & Insurance Online – Tough Market: The Best Time To Improve Workers Compensation Programs

At no time in recent history has it been more important to rein in workers compensation costs.

With workers compensation markets hardening, medical costs rising and the threat of inflation looming, brokers, agents and buyers face growing total workers compensation costs.

Despite those ominous trends, however, it is possible for workers compensation brokers, buyers and insurers to successfully control these costs by achieving the best claims outcomes possible. This requires close partnerships, advanced claim mitigation strategies and powerful loss control services. In fact, now is the ideal time for workers compensation buyers — collaborating with brokers, agents and insurers — to review their programs to ensure they are doing everything possible to protect employees and bottom lines.

According to Maureen McCarthy, senior vice president and manager for workers compensation claims at Liberty Mutual, the key is to identify and implement program improvements by focusing on the two areas critical to lowering the total cost of risk: managing claims effectively and improving safety.

via Risk & Insurance Online – Tough Market: The Best Time To Improve Workers Compensation Programs.

OSHA sees budget increases – NIOSH sees cuts for FY 2012

Washington – After several close calls during which a government shutdown loomed, Congress finalized a budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2012, providing some occupational safety and health agencies with a slight funding increase.

  • $565.9 million to OSHA. Compared to FY 2011, this represents a $7.2 million increase, most of which comes from $6.4 million in additional funds for federal compliance assistance and state consultation grants.
  • $374 million to the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The agency received across-the-board increases from FY 2011, except for a $1.2 million decrease in metal/non-metal enforcement.
  • $17.6 million to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. The $7.3 million funding increase from FY 2011 is part of a recent trend of providing more money to FMSHRC to reduce a massive backlog of contested cases.
  • $11.7 million to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, which is identical to the commission’s FY 2011 funding.
  • $182.9 million to NIOSH, a funding cut of more than $41 million for the research institute compared with the previous fiscal year.

CDC – Cold Stress – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic

Workers who are exposed to extreme cold or work in cold environments may be at risk of cold stress. Extreme cold weather is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies in susceptible people, such as those without shelter, outdoor workers, and those who work in an area that is poorly insulated or without heat. Click on the link below for more info.

via CDC – Cold Stress – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic.