Our institution is in the midst of one of the largest construction projects in our history. It will involve years of construction and hundreds of workers. When you walk by the site, it's obvious that there's a tremendous emphasis on safety. Throughout the complex signs are posted that say safety is everyone's responsibility.
Each worker is required to wear a construction-grade helmet, protective eyewear when appropriate, steel-toe shoes and a safety harness when working above ground level. Some of the work involves creating pedestrian tunnels, and those workers receive additional instruction in the high-risk aspects of the job.
This experience made me reflect that each of us works in high-risk situations. You may not use heavy equipment or be at risk of falling, but is your work environment one of stress, deadlines and demands that often exceed your resources?
The risks are different but no less real. If you sit back and do nothing, you run the risk of a major injury, which might be a stroke, a heart attack, diabetes, or a host of emotional issues such as anxiety and insomnia. So what can you do to protect yourself?
Taking care of your physical and mental health is your best defense. You can shift the odds in your favor with a few simple rules, such as getting a good night's sleep, exercising and reaching out to others when you need help. No person is an island, and we depend on each other for strength and comfort.
What have I missed from this construction scene?
Join the discussion at #Stress.Aug. 16, 2011