Psychosocial Hazard?

 

  When we think of hazards at work, we generally think of physical hazards like: pinch points, nip points, trip hazards and guarding issues.

Psychosocial hazards are just as real as physical hazards at work, and in some cases, if not recognized and controlled they can have a very negative impact on your bottom line.

Many studies have been done on psychosocial hazards, and the impact on the workplace. Dr. Martin Shain and Health Canada have put out a recent study called Best Advice on Risk Management in the Workplace. It simply states that workers with a high demand for production and little or no control, and, or, high effort/low reward are at risk of being frustrated, angry, and stressed, which can contribute to aggressive behavior, sabotage, poor physical and mental health and a general lack of safety. These negative feelings can be multiplied two to three times if the employee perceives the employer as being unfair.

We can come up with many situations that exemplify this research, such as the example of a good marriage. When you ask two people who have been married for a long time “what helped them stay together”; they always say the same thing… “it is a relationship of give and take” which means the effort/reward system is good. On the other hand, ask a divorced couple to highlight the reasons why they got divorced and the answer is mostly…”I gave so much and got nothing in return”, Which means the effort/reward system has failed and so has their relationship.

Oddly enough, the marriage scenario is most like our workplaces. The relationship between employer/employee both have basic needs that have to be met to feel good about the working relationship.

Recognizing that psychosocial hazards exist is the first step in a process set up to control them, and controlling them can put you in Canada’s top 100 employers list where the effort/reward system is working; and it is the main reason why they are considered Top Employers!

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Posted on February 21, 2014, in psychology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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