Stress prevention for blue-collar workers in assembly-line production

Assembly-line work is often performed in a workplace environment with physical problems, such as noise, vibrations and dangerous machines, which can be an important stress factor. This paper is aimed at providing concrete advice on how to prevent stress in assembly-line work.

The feeling that supervisors do not care about creating a good work environment is another important factor of stress. Furthermore, technical development in assembly-line work, especially in large companies, has often resulted in more complicated tasks for the workers who may have difficulty in overviewing all the steps in production; this can easily build up a fear of the unknown and, consequently, more stress.

What an individual feels to be a risk can cause as much stress as a real risk. If danger has been eliminated, it is very important to convince the worker that his has been done. Even a slight suspicion that al is not faultless can develop into a stressful situation.

This working paper has six chapters:
1. Introduction: definition of stress; individual reactions to stress; effects of stress; recognizing stress; cost of stress; principal approaches to combat stress.
2. From theory to practice - practical ways to eliminate stress: strengthening the individual's response to stress; improving the physical work environment; changing the work organization.
3. Preparing the change process: convincing management; gathering information.
4. Introducing change: the actors; circulation of information.
5. Issues for change: physical work environment; development of competence.
6. The new organization: working in teams; a new leadership; sharing goals; enhanced dialogue; continuous improvement.