We here in Canada have some great laws that protect the worker’s safety, however, they’re widely unknown and unused.
The most unused law is the right to refuse unsafe work. It’s probably the most powerful and important “right” workers have, yet it goes unused. Just think of all the deaths and accidents that could have been prevented if they had used that right.
Every person I hire starts their fist day with me. We go through training videos, have a safety tour of the plant at which time I show them all the does and don’t s and what to watch for. I also explain in detail the right to refuse unsafe work and I encourage them to use it. By doing this I give them the knowledge and tools to stay safe and go home at the end of each shift.
We’ve all worked in places where we had stress from high demands, low reward, unreasonable expectations, gossip and even political games that can get pretty nasty!
Some of us have had the privilege of working in an almost utopia of positive reinforcement by senior staff combined with a genuine caring for your over all well-being. Everyone is made to feel welcome and part of a team. It’s relaxed, stress free and you may even get excited about going to work to do the best job you can!
I am a fan of the T.V. series Undercover Boss, mostly because it’s shed a light on the subject of psychosocial aspects in the workplace. I like how the “boss” connects with the regular workers and listens to their concerns. The “boss” always addresses the concerns and even finds a way to reward peoples loyalty and dedication with great gifts.
So is it possible to achieve a happy, stress free workplace? YES, only if the boss is behind it 100%. Without that clear support from the top it wont have legs and eventually it will fade away.
If you build it, they will come!