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Safety Focused Newsletter: February 2020

Learn about reporting workplace hazards and addressing bullying in the workplace with this edition of Safety Focused.

Download the full edition of Safety Focused Newsletter

Reporting Workplace Hazards

Workplace hazards can be extremely detrimental to employees and the organization at large, potentially causing health and safety issues. If a hazard is identified in the workplace, it should be reported immediately to a supervisor.

Identifying a Hazard

According to safety experts, a hazard is defined as any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects on something or someone. Hazards are classified into six categories:

  • Biological
  • Chemical
  • Ergonomic
  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Safety

To identify a hazard, think about what materials you come into contact with, equipment or materials you could be struck by, what you might slip or trip on, what you could fall from or how you could overexert yourself.

Reporting Workplace Hazards

Organizations should perform regular risk assessments to identify hazards, the risks associated with them, and appropriate ways to eliminate the hazard or control the risk.

Notify your supervisor immediately if you believe that you or a co-worker are in immediate danger from situations such as the following:

  • Exposure to moving machinery parts
  • Machinery that can be started accidentally
  • Exposure to chemicals or biological hazards
  • A serious risk of falls from heights
  • Risk of electric shock or burns
  • Unsafe excavation

Addressing Bullying in the Workplace

Bullying can be a real problem for adults in the workforce and may refer to many different types of negative behavior. Bullying is defined as verbal comments or acts that could mentally or physically hurt or isolate a person. Typically, bullying is a pattern of behavior that aims to intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group of people.

This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Spreading malicious rumors about someone
  • Socially isolating someone
  • Belittling a person’s opinions
  • Deliberately impeding or undermining a person’s work
  • Setting a person up to fail with impossible deadlines or tasks

How to Address Workplace Bullying

The best method for addressing workplace bullying is to clearly communicate to the perpetrator that the behavior is not acceptable, and ask that the behavior stop. If needed, have a supportive co-worker or supervisor with you to make you feel more comfortable during this confrontation. Review your workplace’s policies on bullying for assistance with the appropriate steps to take.

Keep a factual journal of bullying events, including the date, time and details of the bullying behavior, the name of any witnesses, the outcomes of the events and copies of any messages or emails received from the perpetrator. This can be referenced to later as proof of a pattern of malicious behavior. Under no circumstance should you retaliate against the perpetrator.

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