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HRM - Excel Books - Chapter 18

HRM - Excel Books - Chapter 18

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Published by: Soumya Jyoti Bhattacharya on Apr 24, 2010
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Poor working conditions affect employee performance badly. Under such stressful conditions, employees may not be able to concentrate on work, leading to serious accidents, at times. Companies with poor safety record, not surprisingly, find it difficult to hire and retain skilled labour force on a long term basis. In their own interest, therefore, employers should take up health and safety issues seriously and do everything possible to improve the living conditions of employees.

Health And Safety


Typical health and safety responsibilities

HR Unit       r inat s health and safet pr rammes Devel ps safet reporting s stem Offers accident investigation expertise Provides technical expertise on accident prevention Develops restricted- access procedures and employee identification systems Trains managers to recognise and handle difficult employee situations       

M anagers Monitor health and safety of employees daily Coach employees to be safety conscious Investigate accidents Observe health and safety behaviour of employees Monitor workplace for security problems Communicate with employees to identify potentially difficult employees Follow safety provisions and security procedures and recommend changes as needed

Health And Safety


Legal provisions regarding health( section 11 to 20, Factories Act, 1948) 


Cleanliness Wastes Ventilation and temperature ust and fumes Artificial humidification Overcrowding Lighting rinking water Latrines and urinals Spittoons

Health And Safety


Measures to promote employee health
Health promotion focuses on prevention rather than treatment or cure. The core health promotion activities cover the following areas 


Healthy living Eating wisely Exercise and physical fitness Smoking cessation Stress management Protecting oneself from workplace hazards

Health And Safety


Components of a typical wellness programme
The basic objective of wellness programmes is to help employees build lifestyles that will help them to achieve their full physical and mental potential. Such a programme is built around the following things:  Educating employees about health-risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, stress, poor nutrition etc. Identifying the health- risk factors that each employee faces Helping employees eliminate or reduce these risks through healthier lifestyles and habits Enabling employees to self monitor and evaluate where they stand from time to time. 


Employee assistance programmes covering workplace violence 

Employee assistance programmes offer counselling, medical help and rehabilitation opportunities to all troubled employees.
Health And Safety


Dealing with violent employees
Features Co n seq u ences Supervisory/Outside sup p ort   T to employee alk Allow the person to vent some of the hostility and anger Involve HR experts or trained counsellors in the wellness programme.    Preventive Steps 


Frustration History of aggression Loner Stress T emper loss Angry most of the time 


Verbal threats Blaming others Picking fights Intimidating Upset over minor injustices Assaultive physical actions

Consult specialists who would help formulate a plan for identifying, defusing and recovering from a violent act. Establish a procedure for investigating any potentially violent talk or action. Set up a crisis management team to take decisions quickly (counselling the victim, handling media etc.) Train supervisors and managers so that they can identify the warning signals early, and resolve conflicts smoothly. Help employees adjust to changes such as downsizing, VRS, retrenchment etc. Be aware of potential risks and respond appropriately. When the employee threatens to kill somebody, take it seriously and respond proactively instead of presuming that he will not indulge in such atrocious behaviour.   

Health And Safety


Emotional problems Depressed employees are difficult to handle in that they show signs of irritation, carry guilt feelings and indulge in violence Employees with such emotional problems could be helped through 

Listening attentively and sympathetically; extending emotional support  Removing irritants  Taking to a psychologist

Health And Safety


Dealing with alcoholism and drug abuse: supervisory role 
     Confront the employee with evidence Provide coaching to improve employee performance Encourage the employee to take up assistance programmes Inform the employee about consequences of poor performance Arrange for in-house counselling in case of drug addicts Initiate disciplinary proceedings against those unwilling to learn

Health And Safety


Employee Safety
The main purpose of effective safety programmes in an organisation is to prevent work related injuries and accidents. Safety measures in a factory would cover: 


Slipping and falling hazards Collision and obstruction hazards Equipment hazards Fire hazards Hazards from falling objects

Health And Safety


Causes for accidents 
         Improperly guarded equipments Defective equipment, machines Unsafe storage: congestion, overloading Improper illumination: glare, insufficient light Improper ventilation Falls on stairs, ladders, walkways Congested workplace Unsafe acts such as throwing materials Unsafe procedures in loading, placing or mixing or by lifting improperly People with impaired vision; under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and who exhibit negative, violent behaviours

[D. Hoffmann A. Stetzer, A cross level investigation of factors influencing unsafe behaviours and accidents. Personnel Psychology, 49,1996.]

Health And Safety


Employee Safety
Indian scenario: Laws governing employee safety 

The Factories Act  The Indian Electricity Act  The Pesticides Act  The Boiler Act  The Environment Protection Act etc.
Supervisors who are supposed to oversee the implementation of the provisions of various legislative pieces in India are a stretched lot, since they have to cover lot of ground. Employers, typically, are also not interested in putting latest safety equipment in place. Due to poverty and unemployment, workers especially women and child labour are forced to work under totally unsafe conditions. Supervisors in such a scenario, have a great role to play .
Health And Safety


Employee Safety
Any salary increase awarded to an employee based on his or her performance is called merit pay. It is like rewarding the best performers with the largest increases in Effective safety management This would include the following steps  Establishing a safety policy  Ensuring top management support  Creating safety committees  Promoting safety discipline  Instituting safety engineering procedures  Offering safety training  Investigating reasons for accidents  Evaluating safety efforts Seeking support from government pay as an appreciative gesture from the employer. When high achievers are rewarded, they set the benchmarks for others to follow. But the whole process of recognising merit, measuring performance, picking up the winners need to be followed objectively.
Health And Safety


Safety: Legal Provisions 
Fencing Of
achinery achinery In otion 

Working On Or Near 

Employment Of Young Persons  Striking Gear And Devices For Cutting Off Power  Self Acting
achines achinery 

Casing Of New  Hoists And Lifts  Lifting 

Employment Of Women, Children Near Cotton Openers
achines, Chains And Ropes achinery 


Pressure Plant

Health And Safety


Safety: Legal Provisions 
Floors, Stairs And Excessive Weights Protection of Eyes Dangerous Fumes And Gases Precautions With Regard To Portable Electrical Light Explosive or Inflammable Gas or Dust Precautions In Case of Fire Safety of Building And Safety Officers achinery eans of Access

Pits, Sumps, Openings In Floors

Health And Safety

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