Health at work: what is arduousness?

Work is a means of subsistence and continuous improvement of the standard of living for employees, but it is also a source of physical and mental exhaustion. The main cause of a rapid deterioration in health at work is drudgery. What exactly is it? How can it be combated?

Better understand the concept of hardship at work

The concept of “arduousness at work” is closely linked to work in companies and in the industrial sector. In particular, it refers to the worker’s continuous exposure to physical, psychological and environmental risks that can rapidly deteriorate his or her state of health.

Prior to the 2000s, hardship very often went unnoticed. Little by little, trade unions and human and workers’ rights activists began to alert the authorities, entrepreneurs and industrialists to the relationship between hardship and health at work. The concept of arduousness is now mentioned in the labor law and should be considered by both employers and employees for the sake of dignity, health and productivity.

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The possible consequences of drudgery

Hardness is closely linked to the working conditions of employees in companies and industrial environments. In order to be able to assess the extent and consequences of arduousness with any degree of accuracy, the risk factors must be identified.

These factors include successive work over several hours, mechanical vibrations and excessive noise in the workplace, extreme temperatures, awkward postures in the workplace, repeated night work, constant contact with products that can damage health at work, etc.

The factors of hardship are not limited to physical and environmental factors. Psychological and emotional factors must also be taken into account, including hurtful words from certain superiors, intimidation, social exclusion, etc.

Management of distress in the workplace

The procedures for managing drudgery are an important criterion for judging the seriousness and quality of a company. First of all, the employment contract to be signed by the employees must include the articles on work arduousness as set out in the Labor Code. This demonstrates the company’s willingness to fight against drudgery and thus maintain the well-being and motivation of all employees.

In addition, employees should be offered training in the area of work-related stress. This will enable them to understand what is at stake in this scourge and thus do everything possible to prevent its devastating consequences.

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