While being an exciting sector of a country’s economy, the petroleum sector poses a number of challenges related to human resources, such as business uncertainty, offshore and remote work, shift work and accidents and other crisis. As the Petroleum industry expands in Tanzania, the prevalence of occupational stressors will persist as determinants of employee health and wellbeing. The employees also face socio-economic stressors related to relocating to project site, while maintaining the delicate balance of work and family commitments. The manifestations of these stressors are both physiological and psychological, which invariably result in:
- Isolation and the feeling of lack of support
- Stress upon family
- Distraction due to family issues, which may result in accidents
- Workplace stress
- Difficulty focusing and being productive
- Effects on sleeping and eating
- Difficulty in balancing family and work
- Emotional impact of relocation and shift work
- Addictions and substance abuse
Stress, anxiety, depression, physical conditions and other issues not only affect a person’s ability to perform their work at a high level, but can impact their life away from work as well. Health and well-being issues are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society. With such challenges, it can be very difficult for people to be at their most engaged and productive. This obviously can have negative effects in terms of employee relations and retention, productivity and ultimately the bottom line.
While safety is an operational imperative for the oil and gas industry, there are more subtle aspects of the physical and mental stresses resulting in a number of health risks for the employees and their families.
A pro-active approach promoting healthy body and mind through a variety of well thought out initiatives and interventions will drive employee productivity, engagement and retention and meet new social expectations. Adopting a long-term strategic approach to employee health and wellbeing is key to ensuring that people and organizations thrive.
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