Occupational stress and stress prevention in air traffic control

Air traffic controllers are generally considered one of the working groups having to deal with a highly demanding job. This paper is aimed at providing concrete advice on how to prevent stress in in air traffic control.

The paper indicates a number of preventive measures targeted to the elimination of the causes of stress, rather than the treatment of its effects, and how these measures can become an integral part of the necessary organizational development and eventually pay for themselves. The paper has seven chapters.

1. Introduction
— What is stress?
— The sources of stress in air traffic control
— The consequences on health and well-being
2. How to prevent stress at work
3. Intervention on the external socio-economic environment
— Legislation, international and national directives
— Social support
4. Intervention on technology and work organization
— Improving job planning and reliability of the work systems
— Reduction of working times and arrangement of working teams and rest pauses in relation to the workload
— Arrangement of shift schedules according to psycho-physiological and social criteria
— Participation in decision making
5. Intervention in working place and task structure
— Improving the work environment
— Arranging workplaces according to ergonomic criteria
6. Intervention to improve individual responses and behaviour
— Individual ways of coping with stress
— Selection and training
— Counselling and other supporting measures at company level
7. Appropriate medical surveillance for health protection and promotion