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Employers concerned about mental health, stress impact on safety

mental stress

More than 90% of employers are concerned about mental health and chronic stress impacting their workers’ fitness for duty, according to the results of a survey released Monday by the National Safety Council.

The Itasca, Illinois-based council surveyed employers about workplace impairment in 2020, finding that 93% of employers believe that fitness for duty extends beyond substance abuse to include mental health and well-being.

While nearly three-quarters of employers said they view impairment as an important consideration when determining an employee’s fitness for duty and discuss substance impairment during onboarding, fewer than half of employers addressed other types of impairment — such as fatigue, mental health and stress — at that time.

The NSC said the survey data underscores the impact of the pandemic on workplace safety, and it urges employers to identify “workplace impairment” as anything that could impede a worker’s ability to function normally and safely including substance use as well as fatigue, mental distress and stress.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.