Rationale of the Project: Awareness Raising ProjectSafety in the WorkplaceSafety in the workplace is one of the foremost concerns of both the workers and the business owners. Safety in the workplace may include both the source of stress and its relation to critical incidents that normally happens every day. Critical incidents in the workforce perspective refers to the “sudden, unexpected events that often are significant enough to overwhelm normal coping responses and they normally vary in type and severity and can affect employees as well as management” (Regehr and Hill, 2000). Because critical incidents normally happen unexpectedly, there are special prevention and/or restoration techniques that companies usually follow. Preventions techniques are focused on minimizing intense negative effects and making sure employees are safe from harm and trauma.
In cases of accidents, natural or man-initiated disasters, there are safety gears and equipments available in the most accessible areas of the workplace building coupled with the safe exit points. Fire alarm systems and easy access with communication lines to contact the proper authorities (such as emergency hotlines, hospitals, ambulance, fire departments, etc) are also ensured.
In cases wherein the unexpected incident has persisted, there are restoration strategies that management usually takes into consideration. This includes physical, psychological and/or emotional therapy for the workers who may have suffered from trauma and emotional imbalance. Treatment and care for those who suffered physical pains. Lastly, there are medical and/or financial assistance and even insurance coverage to those who are extremely affected. Needless to say, when critical incidents do happen, management of it must be based not only on what he company can do, but also on what the people need and what the situation calls.
Workplace Stress in Relation to Workplace SafetyIn the minds of many business owners and managers, workplace stress is an everyday part of business. They think that stress does not become worrisome until it explodes into a screaming match or a violent act. However, by then, it may be too late to prevent an incident (Venkateshwara, 2006). By recognizing and dealing with early signs of stress, managers can help create a calmer, more productive atmosphere for all employees - and ward off potentially dangerous behavior.
Humans exhibit a physical response to stress, characterized by heightened senses, increased heart rate, muscular tension, and increased blood pressure. This evolutionary throwback is designed to help humans flee wild animals or physically protect loved ones from danger. However, left untreated, this repeated physical response to an emotionally stressful stimulus can cause real health problems, and it can reduce a valued employee's productivity (Chiavenato, 2001). In dealing with stress, managers must understand that the physical response to a conversation or event is not always dictated by the reality of the situation; what matters is how the event is interpreted by those involved.
Thus, the same event or comment may send one employee through the roof while another may barely react or may not notice it at all (Festing, 1997). To ease workplace stress, managers must be able to recognize the effects of stress on employees and to determine the cause. If the stress is related to work, managers can then take steps to try to reduce it.