work-related stressThere’s certainly no lack of challenges facing the EHS profession now and in the coming years, according to ISHN’s 2015 EHS State of the Nation subscriber survey. Almost four in ten (39%) of ISHN subscribers say contending with an expanding workload is one of the biggest challenges they face on the job. Does anyone expect workloads to diminish in coming years, in just about any profession, with lean staffing now the norm in most industries? About one-third of respondents (31%) are grappling with increasing job stress. Again, stress levels on the job appear to be trending in only one direction – up.

Other daunting challenges facing the EHS profession: putting safety on equal footing in the organization with environmental protection and business priorities (35%); ensuring safety and health policies, codes and goals are used throughout supply chains (32%);, and applying safety and health practices in work cultures where a shortage of skilled labor is a problem (38%).

ISHN’s exclusive subscriber survey was conducted by email November 18 – December 2, 2014. We heard from safety pros, executive managers, plant engineers, environmental specialists and industrial hygienists working in mostly mid-size 100-499 employee companies (22%) and companies with more than 5,000 employees (28%). Forty percent of the surveyed firms have annual revenues of more than $1 billion, and 48% have been in business for more than 50 years. Fifty-one percent of respondents come from either the petro refining / oil and gas sector; utilities; fabricated metal products manufacturing; construction; and transportation equipment manufacturing.