Psychological hazards s a working condition that can leads to illness, injury or death. Is any condition of job, at job place that can result in illness or injury. OR Is a risk that is peculiar to a particular type of employment or workplace that arises as a natural incidence of such employment Hazard is any situation, condition or things that may be dangerous to the safety or health of the workers. The working environment and the nature of work itself are both important on health. The employers are responsible for conducting an overall hazard assessment in the workplace.
However, all workers should be able to recognize and identify hazard in the workplaces on an ongoing basis. Psychological hazards are threats that affect the mental wellbeing or mental health of the worker and may sometime results into physical effects by overwhelming the individuals’ coping mechanisms and impacting the workers’ ability to work in a health and safe manner. These hazards are not from physical things that you can see, but rather, many of these hazards comes as a results of interaction with others. Sometimes, psychological hazards are the things that causes a worker mental distress or distraction. (Lower concentration) TYPES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL HAZARDS AT WORKPLACE As they are shown and explained above, sometimes these are referred as causes of psychological hazards. These are:
(1) VIOLENCE (Workplace violence)
Workplace violence is particularly dangerous to the health of the worker in working place. They occur as a result of personality conflicts between co-workers or between staff and supervisor. Sometimes it leads to injury. Workplace violence can also be as a result of personal problems and negative behavior. For example, relationship problems at home, financial or legal problems can create emotional problems at work. As a result, these problems can leads to an employee/worker bringing weapons to work and endangering at workplace. (2) STRESS (Stressful working environment)
The term stress refers to physical, mental or emotional strain or tension. A stressful working environment contributes to mental distress and distraction. These can be sometimes as a results of lack of organizational procedures, lax procedures, unreasonable workplace requirements and poor leadership where by all these leads to stress for employee Stress sometimes leads to mistakes and mistakes leads to crisis situation. Stress can be solved or reduced by organizing workplace procedures and quality control. A reduction of stress to the workers can improve their morale and reduce the likelihood of violence, bullying and harassment.
Burnout is a fatigue state or a frustration state which results from too much work and stress. The psychological sign of burnout includes anxiety, worry, guilt, anger and frustration, depression, confusion, troubled sleep, feeling or being overwhelmed and other emotional condition. A worker affected by burnout can be identified through overreaction to small things, frequent tiredness, minor accidents and errors, evident drug and alcohol use and difficulty communication and relation with co-workers So, personal use of stress management tools such as relaxation skills exercise and rearrangement of unrealistic goals are necessary for individuals experiencing burnout as a result of burnout condition. (4) FATIGUE
Fatigue is a state of feeling very tired and sleepy that results from insufficient sleep, prolonged mental or physical works or extended period of stress or anxiety. Boring or repetitive task can identify feeling of fatigue. This can leads to a worker into reduced decision making ability, reduced communication skills, reduced ability to concentrate, reduced performance, loss of money and therefore a person cannot perform his/her responsibilities properly. (5) BULLYING
Bullying is an act or verbal comments that could mentally hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes it involves repeated incidents or pattern of behavior that is intended to
intimidate, offend, degrades or humiliate a particular person or group of people. Examples of bullying behavior are: * Spreading rumors and gossips that are not true
* Excluding or isolating someone socially
* Undermining a persons’ work. Example, bus conductor workers, house girls, barmaids, waiters and waitress * Removing areas of responsibility without any reasonable causes * Establishing impossible deadlines that will set up the individual to fail * Blocking applications for training, leaves or promotion These behaviors can leads to increased stress, absenteeism, decreased morale, poor performance, poor customer services and decreased productivity and motivation (6 ) LANGUAGE (VERBAL) ABUSE
This is a process of insulting or harming a person emotionally with the use of language. Verbal abuse at workplace can also be classified into subtle and overt abuse. Overt verbal abuse is when the employer insults the employee or other person by shouting, name calling, threatening, and using derogatory language. Example, he/she may pick out mistakes and criticize the individual/worker in front of other employees On the other hand subtle verbal abuse is when the employer criticizes or passes sarcastic remarks without yelling or shouting. Example, she/he may give this person/employee, a cold treatment while being nice and jovial with others. The employer tries to hide/avoid the employee
when she/he tries to discuss the problem. As these things happen in a private setting, no other person trust what the abused person is saying and many times, the individual start feeling that the problem lies with him/her. This reduces his/her- self esteem to such a level that he/she does not find any option other than leaving the organization (7) WORKPLACE HARASSMENT
Workplace harassment is any unwelcome or unwanted conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or an aversion toward other person on the basis of any characteristics protected by law. It includes individuals’ race, color, gender or ethnic origin, disability, marital status and sexual orientation The most and foremost types of harassment are sexual harassment and ethnic harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that involves unwanted conduct of sexual nature. This applies to a person against another person of the opposite or of the same sex. Psychological distress (hazards) occurs when an employee (person) s subjected to some adverse actions because of her refusal to submit to a request for sexual favor. Other workplace harassment apart from sexual harassment are humor, jokes, race, religion, disability, gender specific trait, repeated request for dates, comments about persons’ body, dress, excessive flattery, or questioning of a personal nature and threats
(8) SHIFT AND NIGHT WORK
Shift and night workers are particularly prone to psychological problems because their working patterns differ from natural circumstances. Example, they have to be awake when their bodies want to be asleep. They are at higher risk of some form of cancer and other related causes of stress. They are likely to be tired and so, prone to errors and mistakes. Another psychological problems and this is especially more emotional problem, is the prolonged marital conflicts. These workers, sometimes lack affection from their beloved partners CONCLUSION.
The working environment and the nature of the work itself are both important on workers’ health. Therefore, employers are responsible for conducting an overall hazard assessment in the workplace. However, all workers are should be able to recognize and identify hazards in their working places. As psychological hazards are caused by bullying, harassment, language abuse, shift and night work and violence, these problems have become very common in recent time. However, many workers do not come out in the public and report these problems as they have the fear of losing their jobs. Some of these employees who are facing these problems from their employers loose their self esteem and self-confidence which may cause physical as well as emotional problems leading to poor performance at work. Hence, employees need to be firm and strong by reporting these problems to counselors and/or to legal organs (police) as it is not only have a negative effects to the employees but also on the image of the organization/company.
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