Monthly Archive for January, 2012

Avoid Work Accident Claims

For all employers looking to meet the health and safety requirements laid out by the government, the first thing they should do is carry out an assessment of the health and safety risks in their organization. The findings of this assessment should demonstrate those areas which need to be improved, in order to ensure that the safety of workers and the public is not put at risk. If attention isn’t paid to any issues that may have arisen then you may find yourself paying out for work accident claims in the case of an accident involving an employee. These are some basic safety measures for the workplace which should be carried out by businesses where relevant.

Floors and passageways
It is important to ensure that areas for walking and maneuvering vehicles are kept tidy and clear of obstructions. Areas in question include doorways, stairs, gateways, ramps and loading bays. There also needs to be a sufficient number of these, with the right amount of height and width, to ensure that both vehicles and people have ease of movement. Furthermore, for safety reasons it is best if the areas for people and vehicles are kept separate.

Transparent doors, walls or windows
Any surfaces for doors, windows, walls, partitions or gates which are made of transparent material should also, where there is a risk to health and safety, be made of safe material. Furthermore, if it is in an area where people may accidentally come into contact with it, there should be writing on the surface to make its presence apparent. Windows should also be designed so that they are able to be opened and cleaned without risk to the safety of those performing these tasks.

Dangerous chemicals and/or liquids
While obviously this does not apply to a great many workplaces, if a business involves dealing with dangerous chemicals or liquids these must be stored safely and employees provided with the appropriate safety clothing and equipment. Areas where such liquids or chemicals are stored need to be securely sealed off and clearly labelled, while the routes to and from these areas should also be fenced in a secure manner.

Guest post provided by The Accidents At Work Site.

How To Manage Workplace Conflict

We’ve all had a boss that pushed our buttons or a coworker or two that made us go bananas, but except in dire situations most of us refrain from letting our workplace conflicts escalate into full blown crises. Which is a good thing, because when people expose too many of their emotions at work, especially those involving anger and frustration, they may need some serious reputation management in order to repair the damage. So it’s good to be able brush petty problems off your shoulders. Except sometimes in burying our opinions and issues we just let them grow in strength, and in the process we risk a major blowout. There are ways to deal with conflict that can address the core problems while deflating tension:

Don’t make it personal. No matter what the issue, as soon as you begin making personalized accusations—such as “you’re a slob” or “it’s your fault”– the situation will be hard to repair. The best way to approach a problem is to view it as a mysterious anomaly that you’re trying to get to the root of by enlisting the help of others.

Identify with the problem. If the copier keeps getting broken because the guy in the next cubicle bangs it with his fist, your best bet at resolving the issue is to approach him rationally. Instead of saying, “stop smashing the copier with your hand, you fool!” you’re better off saying, “I’ve noticed that when the copier lags for a moment you hit it. I hate that thing too, trust me, but check out this blog I read about how things don’t work as well when they’re damaged.” Obviously, you’d probably want to scale back the sarcasm at the tail end, but you get the point.

Smile, listen, and be concise. A smile goes a long way toward breaking tension. Without it, a colleague is more likely to feel attacked. Also, after you’ve spoken listen to what they say in response. If a person feels like they’re on the wrong side of an endless, accusatory monologue, they’ll likely get angry. Wouldn’t you? Keep the grievance short, concise, and to the point. And don’t lump in other things that have been bothering you. This isn’t therapy.

There are few things more aggravating and time-wasting than workplace conflict. Sometimes it’s inevitable, but usually if you adhere to basic social skills you can sooth an issue before it becomes a major point of office ire. This is a good management skill and if your clueless boss lacks it, perhaps you’ll end up replacing him anyway. Just a thought.