Advanced Human Resource Management: Managing Workplace Health & Safety Tuesday March 7, 2006 Agenda • March 28th and March 30th – alternate class sessions • OHS – Chapter 2 The Legal Context for HRM (pp. 54-64) – OSHA. Add value. To your business. To your workplace. To your life. (Fall 2002). Job Safety & Health Quarterly, 14 (1) – Pearson, C.M., Andersson, L.M., & Porath, C.L. (2000). Assessing and attacking workplace incivility. Organizational Dynamics, 29, 123-137. – Hantula, D.A., & Hilbert, S.M. (1997). Safety isn’t simple. Academy of Management Executive, 11, 82-83. – Nelson, D.L. & Burke, R.J. (2000). Women executives: Health, stress, and success. Academy of Management Executive, 14, 107-121. Occupational Health & Safety • The identification, evaluation, and control of hazards associated with the work environment • Standards to ensure safe and healthy working conditions and provide penalties for violators (e.g., OSHA) • Based on – OSHA (Add value. To your business. To your workplace. To your life.), and the film Death on the Job, • Consider the following – Identify some of the discrepancies between what OSHA purports to do, and what happens in the real world. Why might these discrepancies exist? – What might help to rectify and/or avoid such problems? – Why do you think that we so rarely hear about workplace fatalities and other major accidents? Occupational Health & Safety • Employees and employees share responsibility for creating and maintaining safe and healthy work environments – Safety – injury • Damage, wound to body, accidents, aggression, etc. – Health – illness • Condition, disorder caused by exposure, rsi, etc. • What are the 3 key messages from Hantula & Hilbert (1997) Safety isn’t simple? Societal Expectations • To some extent, every society has precisely the accident rate it is willing to accept • Societal norms about seat-belt use or smoking changed not that long ago – collective will can be a powerful force for change Managerial Perspective & Challenges • Managers must deal with a variety of workplace safety issues including: – Protecting the public – Providing a safe and healthy work environment – Comply with specific legal requirements • Challenges – Extent of employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy work environment – Understanding the reasons for safety and health laws and the costs and obligations they impose on employers – Developing an awareness of contemporary health and safety issues, including SARS, AIDS, violence against employees, stress, workplace smoking, repetitive strain injuries, substance abuse, hazardous chemicals…. – Describing the features of safety programs and understand the reasons for, and the effects of programs designed to enhance employee welfare Workplace Safety and the Law • Legislation has 2 specific aims: 1. Concern with the injured work (Workers’ Compensation) • Provide prompt medical care • Provide income to victims and their dependants • Provide a “no-fault” system • Encourage employees to invest in safety • Promote research on workplace safety 2. Laws to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses • All Canadian jurisdiction make provisions for 2 kinds of shared responsibility activities • Health and safety committees • The right to refuse unsafe work Right to Refuse Work • In general, the right to refuse work does not depend on the worker’s ability to prove that a hazard exists – the standard that applies is having “reason to believe” that the situation is unsafe Question • Maintaining health and safety on the job is a management function as much as a legal and ergonomic function, yet often, managers fail when it comes to their daily duties. What can management do? High quality work and injuries: Data from Barling, Kelloway and Iverson • Focused on high quality work; >15,000 employees • A high quality job is one which provides the employee with the means and the opportunity for doing great work • High quality work comprised three different aspects: –extensive training –job rotation –autonomy • Found a direct relationship with injuries Dupont Canada: Safety Philosophy • We are committed to excellence in safety and occupational health for all people on and off the job • We are committed to the safe distribution and use of our products by our customers • Safety management is an integral part of our business and it built on the belief that all injuries and occupational illnesses are preventable; that we are all responsible for our own safety and also that of our fellow employees; and that managers are responsible for the safety of those in their organizations Outcome of an unhealthy work environment: Stress • A Meaningless Term? • “I may not know what it is, but I sure know that I’ve got it!” • A psychological reaction to the demands inherent in a stressor that has the potential to make a person feel tense or anxious What is Stress? • Perceived causes of • Reactions to events feelings – Not being sure of what – Fighting traffic is expected in a – Having too much to do situation (& too little time to do it) – Feeling anxious or – Trying to balance work uptight & family responsibilities – Feeling pressured – Dealing with difficult – Worrying about the people at work future Stress • Usually defined in terms of a situation that creates excessive psychological or physiological demands on a person • The situation is referred to as a stressor – Environmental events or conditions that have the potential to induce stress – Stressors at Work: Diversity, Work/Life Conflict, Sexual Harassment, Job Insecurity, Monotony, Lack of Control, Interpersonal Stressors, Change • The outcome is strain • Physiological, Psychological, Behavioural, Organizational Symptoms • Stress is the individual’s subjective experience of the stressor STRESSOR STRESS STRAIN Work Stress: Prevalence and Costs • + 15% experience daily work stress on any given day • Costs of stress are undoubtedly tremendous: – work: absenteeism, accidents, productivity – social: health, depression, self-esteem • 25% of white-collar workers and 40% of blue-collar workers had a stress-related absence in 1998 • In the US the cost of stress has been calculated at $350 billion per year • Stress levels in Canada – nearly double the rate reported a decade ago • One-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Northwestern National Life • Three-fourths of employees believe employees have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago. Princeton Survey Research Associates Stress Prevention & Job Performance • St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company conducted studies on the effects of stress prevention programs in hospital settings • Program activities included (1) employee and management education on job stress, (2) changes in hospital policies and procedures to reduce organizational sources of stress, and (3) establishment of employee assistance programs – The frequency of medication errors declined by 50% after prevention activities were implemented in a 700-bed hospital – There was a 70% reduction in malpractice claims in 22 hospitals that implemented stress prevention activities – There was no reduction in claims in a matched group of 22 hospitals that did not implement stress prevention activities Women executives: Health, stress, and success Nelson & Burke (2000) • Diversity increasing – need to understand impact of stress on different groups of employees • Stressors related to women – Barriers to achievement, Tokenism, Overload, Downsizing, Expectations, Relationships, Politics, Social-sexual behaviour, Work-home conflict, Workaholism • Prevention – Primary, secondary, & tertiary organizational and individual mechanisms A cause of and reaction to stress: workplace aggression • Workplace aggression – All individual behavior aimed at harming others in and around a place of work (Neuman & Baron, 1997). • Key to this type of counterproductive work behavior is that it is interpersonal in nature, and there is an intent to harm on the part of the perpetrator. • National statistics suggest that workplace aggression is on the rise. These findings are based on numbers of grievances filed over time. • 64% of Canadian workers perceive that their workplace is not as safe from aggressive persons as it once was. Workplace aggression can include: • Homicide • Ostracism • Robbery • Ignoring • Wounding • Rude Gestures • Kicking • Yelling • Biting • Insulting • Spitting • Incivility • Mobbing • Gossiping • Bullying • Sexual Harassment • Intimidation • Discrimination • Threats • Terrorism Statistics and trends in workplace aggression • United States – Homicide is one of the leading causes of death on the job – Estimated that approximately 1000 workers are murdered on the job each year (Bureau of Labour and Statistics, 2000) – Nearly 1.5 million people endure non-fatal assaults each year, including acts of harassment, intimidation, and physical attacks (over 5500 incidents daily). This averages out to one in every 68 workers (based on a workforce of 135 million; NIOSH, 1996) • Canada – Data suggests that while workers in Canada are less likely to be murdered on the job than workers in the US, workers in Canada are more likely to be the victim of a non-fatal assault (International Labor Organization, 1998). – These statistics have suggested that 4-5% of workers have been assaulted over the last year at work (ILO, 1998). – 80% of nurses in Nova Scotia have reported being the victim of violence at work over their careers (Nova Scotia Department of Labour, 2003). Risk factors and Antecedents • Risk Factors – People who work late shifts, carry money, deal with the public, work alone, in a position to deny a request or service, on the “front lines”, – Places that are easy to access/have limited security. – May occur when consumer is dissatisfied with service. • Workplace Conditions – Perceptions of injustice – Over-controlling and/or abusive supervisors – Sanctions – Previous acts of lower-level aggression – Aggressive Culture • Individual Factors – Trait anger, Negative affectivity, Attitudes toward revenge, History of aggression, Alcohol/drug abuse Outcomes • Individual Outcomes – Direct and vicarious targets – Diminished psychological well-being and physical well-being. • Organizational – Decrease in employee productivity due to  diminished functioning of affected employees, and  blaming organization for the aggression and wanting to retaliate. – Withdrawal behavior (absenteeism & turnover). Estimated that in the US, people are absent an average of 3.5 days of work for every incident of workplace aggression (= $55 million dollars in lost wages annually; doesn’t include people who are vicariously exposed). – Health care/counseling costs, Compensation/Legal costs, Negative publicity/reputation. • Any positive outcomes? What can organizations do? • Screening applicants (?) • Straightforward performance & reward criteria to clarify expectations and reduce the potentially aggressive employee's ability to 'blame' the system or supervisor for failures • Training employees about what kind of behavior is/ is not appropriate; Training about organizational policies against aggression • Zero-Tolerance Policies to provide employees with guidelines of acceptable behavior and conduct • Improved channels for expressing grievances • A formal disciplinary process ensures that all employees are treated fairly and with respect and dignity, especially in the case of terminations • Assessing risk. Identify problem areas (e.g., sectors where layoffs are common or imminent, locations that are difficult to secure), problem people (e.g., employees with a history of reprimands, suspensions), and problem jobs (e.g., jobs that include a high degree of contact with the public, low supervision, and access to weapons) Wellness at Work • New interest in workplace wellness • Research in North America and elsewhere • Major psychological and behavioral journals devoted to the topic • Becomes even more critical during turbulent times, both for employees and organizations • Little changes do make a big difference in the long term • Wellness programs – Focus on preventing health problems • Helps to identify potential health risks • It educates employees about health risks • It encourages employees to change their lifestyles Elements of a Healthy Workplace Work roles Workload Work (clarity, no Job security/ and pace schedule ambiguity) future Healthy and Reduced Social Status environment Productive distinctions Work Extrinsic Workplace Control Commitment Workplace factors monitoring at work and trust justice Toward Healthy and Productive Work: Some Concluding Thoughts • Becomes even more critical in turbulent times, both for employees and organizations • Large organizational and job changes are unnecessary, and perhaps counterproductive given social and economic changes • Given these changes, enhancing employee perceptions of control is critical • Little changes do make a big difference in the long term • It is easier, and more effective, to focus on jobs than people • Despite major social and economic changes, it is possible to move toward healthy and productive work • “Little changes make a big difference over the long term” Next Class • Next Class: Performance Management – Text: Chapter 7 Managing Employees’ Performance – Reserve: (1) Silverman, S. B., Pogson, C. E., & Cober, A. B. (2005). When employees at work don’t get it: A model for enhancing individual employee change in response to performance feedback. Academy of Management Executive, 29, 135-147. – (2) Cannon, M.D., & Witherspoon, R. (2005). Actionable feedback: Unlocking the power of learning and performance improvement. Academy of Management Executive, 19, 120-134.
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