MHR 523 Lecture Notes - Absenteeism, Occupational Stress, Shift Work

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
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April 7, 2013
Chapter 13: Ensuring Health and Safety in the Workplace
Federal and Provincial Regulations
Each province and federal jurisdiction have detailed legislation addressing health and safety
3 Fundamental Employee Rights
The right to know about workplace hazards
The right to participate in correcting process of hazards
The right to refuse dangerous work
Health and Safety Committee
Key element of health and safety laws
Employee and employer representatives
Broad range of responsibilities
e.g. investigate & resolve complaints, monitor health & safety programs, etc.
Usually required in every workplace with 20 or more employees
Participation in this committee is completely voluntary
Employee representatives and employer representatives
Implications for HRM
Consistent reinforcement & due diligence
Ensure consistent enforcement of all safety and health rules and all reasonable steps
were taken to avoid a particular health and safety event
Health and Safety Audit
How most accidents have occurred
Safety Climate: Organizational
Commitment to safety also includes workplace harassment
HRM practices
Safety systems
Look at reducing risks from occuring
No one is subject to any behaviours that compromise their health & safety
Downsizing and Safety
Organization not doing well, look to cut payroll costs, workers are laid off
Survivors: are required to pick up the slack, causing employees to be overworked,
compromising their safety.
Workplace Stress
Workplace stress
Harmful physical and emotional responses
Acute stressors
Occur infrequently but are extremely stressful e.g. major organizational change
Chronic stressors
Ongoing daily problems
Major Causes of Workplace Stress
Factors unique to the job
o Workload, work pace, autonomy shift work, physical environment, isolation
Role in the Organization
o Role conflict/role ambiguity, level of responsibility
Relationships at Work
o Supervisors/co-workers and/or subordinates, threat of violence or harassment
Organizational Climate
o Level of participation in decision-making, management style, communication patterns
Career Development
o Under or over promotion, job security, career development opportunities, job
o After layoffs, may feel secure about job security
Condition of mental, emotional, and sometimes physical exhaustion that results from
substantial and prolonged stress
Human Resource department needs to be proactive
Help employees prevent burnout
Other preventive strategies e.g. job redesign
Redesigning: giving job roles to another job role to reduce stress.
Fitness and Employee Wellness
Improve employee health
Decrease health-care costs
Improve employee satisfaction
Decrease absenteeism and turnover
Improve corporate image