Job insecurity tops the stress list for miners

Posted March 6, 2015

Job insecurity is causing an increased amount of stress for workers in the mining industry, according to new stats from corporate psychology organisation AccessEAP.

Job insecurity rose from 26 per cent to 31 per cent during the second half of 2013 and an ABS report from August this year placed unemployment at 6.4 per cent - the highest rate since 2002.

“The mining industry is experiencing a lot of uncertainty with as many as 75,000 mining-related jobs expected to be lost over the next couple of years as Australia enters phase three of the mining boom.  This amounts to about one third of all mining-related jobs so it’s no surprise that job insecurity is a stress trigger,” AccessEAP Clinical Services Manager Marcela Slepica said.

Here, AccessEAP offers the top five ways to handle stress in the mining industry;

1) Connect with family and friends

People in the mining industry are away from family and friends for long periods of time. Spend more time with them when you are at home and call them frequently when you are away. Try to connect every day to hear about their daily lives as a way of feeling part of it and to avoid feelings of isolation.

2) Don’t take things personally

With the current uncertainty in the mining industry, stress can make you more sensitive and more prone to taking things personally. Stress in others can also make them behave atypically or unkindly. Learn to defuse situations rather than bottle things up and try to let go of grudges.

3) Prioritise relaxation and exercise

These are not optional extras for handling stress, they are essential. Set aside time each day for recreation and exercise. The trick is to find what suits you. Hobbies that focus attention are also good stress relievers. Even a daily walk can help to cope with stress.

4) Identify your stress situations

Make a list of events that leave you emotionally drained and one or two ways to reduce the stress for each. Just knowing you have a plan helps with stress. Take action, any action, doing nothing contributes to stress.

5) Appreciate ourselves and others

Write down one positive characteristic of yourself and one positive characteristic of someone you regularly interact with. Stress can lead to a cycle of negative thinking; focusing on positive things helps to reduce the cycle of negative thinking.

AccessEAP runs toolbox talks on Building resilience, conflict management skills, and building relationships for a large number of mining companies to help employees understand and effectively manage stress.

For more information on AccessEAP, visit www.accesseap.com.au

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