It is very important that health, safety, and welfare of employees that provide their time for the benefit of an organization should be provided care, in order to allow their best utilization of capabilities during their period of employment. In other words, it is the duty of employers to be concerned about the physical, psychological, emotional, as well as, biological issues related to their employees. It has been observed that workplace environment is impacted by a number of factors that should be considered by the workplace management, in order to avoid any vulnerability in the working atmosphere.
In this regard, a cross-disciplinary area of Occupational Health and Safety has been considered and recognized by most of the major organizations around the world. In brief, it is the responsibility of this area to provide support and care for the sustained growth, improvement, and survival of the employees physically, psychologically, as well as, emotionally. (Ashford, 90-93) Moreover, some of the major successful organizations have also engaged family members, relatives, neighbors, and customers in the abovementioned programs. Since the year 1950, occupational health has been defined commonly by some of the most important organizations of the world, such as the World Health Organization, the International Labor Organization, etc. (Stellman, 19-22). According to their shared definition, employees must be protected physically, emotionally, as well as, psychologically by the management and administration related with the occupational health in the organizations. Moreover, comfort of the employees should be maintained, as well as, encouraged by the same.
As earlier mentioned in the paper, most of the employees confront a number of hazards during their working period due to a number of factors in the workplace environment. Some of the hazards are stress and work-related illness, repetitive strain injuries, health and reproductive hazards of women, and genetic screening in the workplace, etc. Variations have been observed in the abovementioned hazards, subject to different states, as well as, different organizations. However, harm is generally caused by these hazards, if they are avoided by the management, and subsequently, employees are affected by these hazards, which influence their personal lives, as well as, deteriorate the working conditions in the organizations.
In this paper, we will try to describe, define, and evaluate different implications of the industrial relations related to one of the hazards that are caused by the avoidance of the management. In this regard, the focal point of this paper will be the stress and work-related illness that is the outcome of hazards caused by the avoidance of occupational health and safety in the organizations. Firstly, we will define and discuss the abovementioned psychological hazard, and subsequently, implications of industrial relations related with this hazard will be discussed and evaluated in the light of legal and industrial laws concerned with it. (Stellman, 26-29)
In the work perspective, exhaustion or burnout is experienced psychologically by the employees, which results in the high degree of stress due to the unavailability of resources, as well as, depersonalization. In other words, it has been observed that too little recovery in terms of wealth is made by the employees in response of overwork and extra efforts made at the workplace. Furthermore, frequent emotional interactions results in the stress to the workers and employees, as well as, their family members, which results in tiredness, fatigue, and nervous apprehension. (Phyllis, 23-34) Moreover, this stress results in the formation of stress in employers as well. A number of conditions are responsible for the stress-related issues at the workplace. Some of the conditions are that employees are not given due importance or appreciation, which results in their discouragement. In other words, employers do not get the completion of required tasks from these employees, which results in a kind of loss to the company as well.
In this regard, a number of industrial relations suggestions, propositions, and implications have been made by major industrial organizations, as well as, law-related institutions related with the occupational health and safety around the world. Yet again, variations in the implementation of these legislations have been observed in different states, as diverse regulations have been enforced in these companies. In the European Union, a number of enforcement authorities have been set up for the acquiring of legal standards of occupational health and safety in the firms. In many countries, employee unions and employer’s management have been incorporated with shared bonding and cooperation. For instance, meetings between the employees, as well as, employers are organized, in order to discuss the stress-related issues that are confronted very often at the companies. (Ashford, 101-113) In the result, performance of the employees, as well as, the employers have been improved and maintained. Subsequently, foundation of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work was an appreciative event in the year 1996, which has considered the safety of employees at the different workplaces, as well as, in different conditions.
It has been observed that a number of conflicts result in the stress-related issues with the employees. For instance, less remuneration is offered by the employers, which is not enough to run a household in midst of masses of expenses. In addition, less number of holidays and other bonuses are put forward by the employers, which once again, results in the depression of the employees. In the result, more employees tend to be absent during their working hours, which increases the costs of the products, as well as, other expenses of the company. Briefly, stress is also confronted by the employers due to higher costs of the products in these firms.
In the United Kingdom, the Health and Safety at Work Act. 1974 was considered for the enforcement of legislations related to the health and safety of employees and workers by the health and safety workers and executives. (Easter, 53-55) In addition, the concept of risk assessment has also been embraced by most of the organizations by major changes in the laws related to the occupational health and safety, which has introduced fire safety management in the organizations for the protection of employees in emergencies. One of the reasons of introduction of fire safety in the companies is that a number of employees have been confronting stress-related issues due to past fire incidents in the firm, which has destroyed and deteriorated the physical conditions of the employees. However, the abovementioned introduction has resulted in the lessening of stress in the employees. In the United States, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was formed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. (Stellman, 26-29) This institute is responsible for the enforcement of safety and health regulations in the workplace environments, which has lessened the work-related illnesses, such as fatigue, exhaustion, stress, etc. In Canada, labor codes based on provinces or capitals, have been provided to the workers and employees. In this way, proper distribution of the worker rights has been done by the Canadian Government. One of the reasons of stress was that the workers were not been able to acquire their own rights, which resulted in the stress and anxiety of these workers. Thus, the abovementioned steps taken by the governments have resulted in the reduction of the stress-related issues.
In the United States, organizations have engaged in the incorporation of employer-employee relations, which has influenced the environment of workplace at a larger extent. In some organizations, workers, employees, and employee unions have been included during the decision-making processes, which have influenced the behavior of employees, and have heightened their moral. In the result, stress-related complaints, as well as, similar situations have been decreased so far. (Easter, 78-82) In the light of these facts, it has been noted that work ethics plays a vital role in the provision of security and comfort to the employees during their work time. (James, 20-29) Thus, development and sustainability of capabilities of employees are greatly influenced and affected by the position, deference, and admiration that are given to the employees by the workplace management and administration. In this regard, the human resource management plays a crucial role, which is responsible for the recruitment and supervision of the employees. (Boyd, 12-17).
As earlier mentioned in the paper, ethics at the workplace has a very imperative role, and thus, workers with lowest socioeconomic status should not be disregarded, affronted, or abused by the management. It has been observed that highest rate of stress has been found in the workers who have been abused or mistreated due to their lowest socioeconomic level. In this regard, a study has suggested that people with the abovementioned background are tending to lose hope due to non-comfort and unavailability of resources, as well as, ignorance from the society. (Phyllis, 51-56) In addition, these individuals confront more possibilities and chances of depression, stress, anxiety, as well as, hopelessness.
Secondly, another cause of the stress-related issues is that long hours of work resulted in the less hours spent with the family members. It has been observed that married lives of the employees are deteriorated, and sometimes, destroyed due to the fewer hours and less time that is spent with the family members. The employees engaged in long hours of work are not able to give time to their children, their problems, etc, which results in the emotional gaps, and thus, stress-related issues in their lives.
In this regard, application of empowerment education has been considered as one of the most effective and influential implications for the avoidance of hazards related to the occupational health and safety. Education related to the health, as well as, safety of the workers has been a key constituent, which has been implemented in most of the industrial organizations for the protection and comfort of the employees. In some states, employee training has been a mandatory step before the recruitment of the employees. The abovementioned implications have resulted in a sense of self-respect and motivation in these employees. The provision of education related to the workplace has strengthened the employee-employer relationship, which sometimes, weakens due to illiteracy of the employees. (James, 44-49).
In addition, one of the main causes of the stress is that masses of people have been emigrating from one place to another to earn their living due to financial crises in their own countries. In the result, employees are not able to adjust themselves in new country, which is one of the other reasons of the stress in their lives. Thus, globalization is one of the other causes of the stress-related issues, which should be dealt by the below mentioned insinuation.
Another possible insinuation is the counseling with the employees, which may provide some space to the workers, in order to reduce their workload tension, stress, and anxiety, which may result in the distress and agony during the work time. For instance, sometimes, stress is increased in the lives of the employees, and counseling becomes necessary in these circumstances. These discussions have resulted in a sense of connectivity and relationship among workers, as well as, with the management and administration of the organizations. Moreover, there a number of chances that problem can be resolved immediately by sharing of difficulties with each other. (Boyd, 31-35).
Conclusively, we have tried to define occupational health and safety, and have attempted to describe, discuss, and evaluate industrial relations implications related to a number of issues that are confronted by the employees at the workplace environment, which may turn into hazards, such as stress, work-related illness, reproductive problems, strain injuries, etc. I hope that this paper will help the professionals, in order to understand the concept of occupational health and safety, as well as, its importance for the promotion, improvement, and maintenance of workplace environments around the world.
Carol Boyd. Human Resource Management and Occupational Health and Safety. Routledge, 2003.
Jeanne Mager Stellman. Encyclopedia of Occupational Health. International Labor Organization, 1998.
Kellie Easter. Enhancing Occupational Safety and Health. Elsevier, 2004.
King, Phyllis M. The Psychosocial Work Environment: Implications for Workplace Safety and Health, 1995.
Nicholas Askounes Ashford. Crisis in the Workplace. MIT Press, 1976.
Phil James. Health and Safety at Work and Its Relevance to Employment Relations Research. Emerald Group Publishing, 2006.