Work Safety: How Safe Are You at Work?

WORKCOVER a safely organization in New South Wales, Australia said on one of its posters “The work place kills more people than those who die on the road.” Why has the work place become so unsafe? Over the years we have seen millions suffer serious injuries or life threatening illnesses due to stressful situations. Hence Work Safety has to be a serious concern.

Are You Engaging in Safe Work Practices

According to one survey 40 percent of Japanese office workers feared possible death from overwork, over 30,000 claims are filed yearly for persons who die from Karoshi “death from overwork”- and police have suggested that work-related problems are a key factor in the increase in suicides among persons age 50 – 59.

A closer look at the Work Safety record reveals that long working hours are causing the death of many. Daily news paper carry such headlines: – Ambulance workers are required to work longer extended hours; Pilot error due to extended work hours; Transport workers on double shift involved in serious pile-up; and Construction and night shift workers in arms with management over extended work hours: All this has resulted in more and more people being killed on the job. A British survey, recently carried out, made the point that “Over worked and stressed employees are not the only ones at risk.” The Business Week Magazine states that about “15 Americans workers are murdered on the job each week.”

What Can Be Done to Improve Health Safety at Work?

There is no shortage of laws on occupational health and safety on how to work safe. Therefore safety cannot simply be legislated. Regulations at work regarding work safety issues must be taken seriously by both employers and employees. It must be the responsibility of all to look after each other.

Trying to maintain an unreasonable work schedule to meet dead lines and other unreasonable demands can be very dangerous and the consequences are potentially devastating. Yet people consent to it, with what result? Research has shown that tired workers are less efficient and make more mistakes. A British survey found that many office workers who worked long hours spent much of they working time in a state of irritation with colleagues. It contends that these bouts of conflicts usually end in violent. The question is, does accepting work schedules that breach legally established limits or fixed work hours worth it?  Maybe you would want to think about this. Do not accept work under such conditions if it is questionable. Employers often listen when reasonable objections are raised.

How should you react to irritating and hostile behavior and or stressed out fellow work colleagues?  Research has shown that in order to defuse any potentially dangerous situation you need to first “keep your cool” the research continues “Be kind and be respectful towards the aggressive person bearing in mind that the aggressor may be under personal pressures and may only be ‘steaming off’ built up pressures and frustrations. You may only be in the wrong place at the wrong time, so how you respond is very important. It can either defuse or ignite the situation.” This is truly good advice and should grab your attention especially when you consider the number of work safety issues currently in the work place. So even if there are genuine differences of view point there need not be a battle. The book “Reasoning on conflicts at work” makes an excellent suggestion “LISTEN” this is a safe work practice. It continues, “By genuinely listening to people with whom we disagree… … we can let go of our emotional investment in the continuation of fighting and discover solutions. This is clearly a common sense approach to conflict resolution and a way to work safe in today’s trouble work place.

The Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) calls for hard working adults to exercise moderately. This they said would assist in making the work place a safer place in every respect. The more often you exercise, the HHS said, the greater the health benefits, including reducing the risk of diseases, such as early death, coronary heart disease, lower risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and of course  prevent weight gain. The bottom line is that the health benefits from physical activity for health safety at work can be of tremendous help.

To perform adequately and function well in the work place you also need to eat a healthy diet. This will keep your metabolism operating efficiently. If your diet lacks essential carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals it will not be nutritious and could well contribute to a series of work safety issues. If you pay close attention all these things not only would work safety improve but the work place would be a safer place for all.

Are You Working Too Hard?

IN Europe, Canada and the United States the answer is the same. People throughout the world are all stressed out. One source indicated that globalization, new technology and the pressures of the work force have caused millions to be labeled as overworked. The same source concluded “people are just plain stressed out because they are working too hard.”

When we analyze this data, the evidence shows that among European workers 6 out of every 10 suffer from stress. Among Canadians 2 out of every 3 find it difficult to balance family life and work. And among those employed in the United States 1 out of every 3 feel chronically over worked. In conclusion the study showed that over 600 million workers or 22% of the global work force spend more than 48 hours a week on the job. Information contained in that same study link long hours and irregular work hours with bad health.

Be that as it may, in the last five years, we have seen an increase in the hard economic times and therefore those working are now more concerned with having a regular job that will guarantee sufficient income to cover the basic needs. Remaining employed however is not easy when thousands are being laid off and unemployment is at its highest, little wonder those working have to put in so many hours and work so hard.

Working long hours without proper rest and or recreation can rob you of many joys in life and can also lead to serious health issues. Chronic over work can lead to several health problems which are linked to alcoholism, heart disease, anxiety, and bouts of serious depression. Needless to say, working too hard can also be deadly.

Lamenting on her situation, one woman in the United Kingdom said “Work gets most of my energy and the kids get what’s left.” Studies in the United States have shown that 1 in every 5 teenagers polled express concerns of not spending enough time with their parents. Another study pointed to the fact on average duel income couples talk to each other on average only 12 minutes a day. In addition many families struggle to cover they monthly expenses, family heads are holding down two jobs just to get by and in other families both spouses are out working leaving the children with relatives or in Day Care facilities. Could this be an indication that you are working too hard?

What Can Help You?

You may need to examine your priorities and make changes. Remember not to forsake the joys of family life by placing too much emphasis on work, strike a balance. Schedule time for regular family recreation and exercise; maintain a balance diet which includes fresh fruits and lots of water.

Take Care of the Basic Body Needs: Get adequate rest to allow your brain to send signals to carry out repairs to your body this is done when you are sleeping to many people spend time battling with the demands of modern life and do not get enough rest. Studies have shown that sleep is essential to good health which brings tremendous benefits to our long term memory and our moods. Do not think that sleeping is practicing death that was my view when I was young, you will pay the price as you get older. Seven or eight hours are good more if possible.

The experts recommend that you should have a consistent exercise program and include both cardio and weight training in you exercise routine. They also maintain that there is no substitute for exercise in any serious health program.  So if you are working hard putting in 40 to 48 hours a week the very best way to achieve longevity without jeopardizing your health is to have a proper nutrition and exercise program.