This month’s Safety Focused newsletter offers first-aid steps to follow on the job and guidance for addressing workplace bullying.
First-aid Steps for the Workplace
When safety incidents happen in the workplace, it’s crucial for the affected individual to receive adequate treatment for their injury as soon as possible. That’s where first aid can help.
By being trained in first aid, employees like you can offer temporary assistance to an injured individual until professional medical care is available. It’s important to note that first aid in itself is not medical care. Rather, the main goals of first aid are to preserve life, prevent additional injuries and promote recovery.
Put simply, learning first aid will allow you to be prepared for a variety of emergency situations in the workplace, ensuring that injured individuals get the assistance they need as quickly as possible. With this in mind, be sure to follow these first-aid steps on the job:
- Evaluate the area. First and foremost, be sure to analyze the area surrounding the injured individual for potential hazards (e.g., cluttered materials or spilled liquids). From there, take all necessary precautions to protect yourself from these hazards before approaching the area—such as putting on protective equipment. Never approach the area if it is deemed unsafe or you are unable to protect yourself from potential hazards. If you are able to safely approach the area, evaluate the individual to help identify their type and cause of injury.
- Contact emergency services. After you’ve analyzed the area and identified the individual’s injury, call 911, if necessary (not all injuries will require emergency services). Give the operator as much information as you can. If you have a bystander call 911, ensure they know what information to share. Have someone stay on the phone with the operator until help arrives.
- Respond accordingly. If you are trained to do so, administer first aid for the individual’s injury. Don’t try to move them. Follow any instructions from the operator on how to further assist the individual.
If you have any additional questions about first aid, talk to your supervisor.
Addressing Workplace Bullying
Bullying is considered any form of repeated, inappropriate behavior (verbal, physical or otherwise) conducted by an individual or group of individuals that is intended to isolate or hurt another person or group. While this type of behavior is harmful in any environment, workplace bullying carries significant ramifications.
Workplace bullying not only establishes a toxic culture within an organization, but also increases health and safety risks on the job. After all, victims of bullying are more prone to a variety of health complications—including excess stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and stomach pains. What’s more, victims of bullying are also more likely to experience workplace performance issues and struggle to focus on tasks—thus increasing the risk of potential health and safety incidents taking place.
That being said, it’s crucial that employees like you play your part to help prevent workplace bullying. Consider this guidance to promote a positive work environment within our organization.
- Know the difference. First, make sure you understand what does and does not constitute workplace bullying. Such behavior does not entail instances of respectfully addressing differences in opinion or providing constructive feedback. Rather, this behavior is intended to be harmful in nature. Examples include:
- Belittling or spreading rumors about an individual
- Threatening, ignoring or excluding an individual
- Criticizing an individual’s contributions or ideas
- Tampering with an individual’s belongings
- Verbally or physically abusing an individual
- Respond calmly. If you or a co-worker are being targeted by workplace bullying, approach the situation calmly. Start by respectfully (but firmly) telling the perpetrator(s) that their behavior is unacceptable and it needs to stop. Even if they disregard your request, don’t retaliate. This could result in you looking like the perpetrator further down the line.
- Report the problem. Following the incident, record as much information as you can about what happened and report it to your supervisor. If you do not feel as though your supervisor is taking the situation seriously, report the incident to the next level of management or the HR department.
By following this guidance, you can help keep our organization a healthy and safe place to work. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding workplace bullying, contact your supervisor.
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