Useful advice for construction and mining workers dealing with stress during the festive season

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As people are getting ready for the Christmas break, there are industries which can be more affected by stress and strains in the lead up to Christmas.

According to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland construction and mining workers are particularly prone to stress. The lead up to Christmas can also see a spike in workplace injuries for a number of reasons.

Charity MATES in Construction provided some useful advice for workers who may find themselves in a stressful situation in the lead or during the Christmas/New Year period.

  • Get out and mix with others if you are alone. Linking up with others and getting together to make things happen can be beneficial.
  • Do something for others less fortunate by volunteering to help charities/homeless people
  • For religious, simply attending the local church for Christmas services may help.

Operations manager John Brady said workers have an important role in supporting mates who may be doing it tough during this time of the year:

  • If you know this is the first Christmas for a mate without a loved one, or without children due to relationship breakdown, or other stressful events, it’s good to make contacts with them to check they are okay
  • Changes in normal behaviour for a mate is also a clue that all is not right with them – once again it’s good to check in with them
  • Trust your gut instinct – if you feel a mate is not doing so well you are probably right – tell them you sense things are not right and see if you can offer support.

WorkCover Queensland Customer Group Executive Melanie Stojanovic said claims for workplace injuries usually rise in the lead up to Christmas.

“We think people are getting worn out towards the end of the year, and they don’t concentrate as much, which leads to mistakes,” she said.

“There’s also the possibility that in a rush to finish off tasks leading up to the end of the year, people again let concentration and mistakes happen.

“We seem to get a lot of simple accidents, such as slips, trips and falls around this time of the year.

“There are also the outside stressors that occur at this time of the year, with Christmas parties, concerts and end of year school and sporting break up events for children, which people might be thinking about, or rushing off to get to.”

More information about injury management can be obtained through WorkCover on 1300 362 128.

The MATES in Construction helpline is available for Christmas and the New Year 1300 MIC 111 (1300642 111).

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