• Admin
    The authors of this story in the latest Safeguard argue that broad working conditions - pay, staffing levels, working hours, resourcing - should be considered when analyzing a workplace's H&S risks. What do forum members think?
  • Ann Butler
    I agree with their comments but would add that so many things that affect morale also affect health and safety at work. Particular stressors giving rise to higher H+S risks would be insufficient staffing levels and resourcing.
  • Angela Gregory
    With a little persuasion from Peter and as a former SG editor I will break my somewhat voyeur tendency of just reading what others' say ... so here is my response. It's a no brainer that (poor) pay and (poor) staffing levels would be contributory factors increasing the risk of harm from work. I say that with some confidence as a former aged care worker who as a teenager, and with no training, had to manage eight hospitalised elderly patients in a nasty split-shift arrangement which meant I worked four hours in the morning getting them up, showered, dressed and fed ... then had to go home for the afternoon but come back for the four hours in the evening doing the reverse. After all, why would they want to pay me to 'relax' during the slower afternoon period let alone have time to actually have a conversation with the 'patients' !! (by the way, I was called a nurse). What was the harm? Lower back problems to this day from lifting patients with no help. Not just due to a lack of training in lifting correctly and no equipment to assist, but not enough staff to have two available to lift together. However I can say the experience was a powerful incentive to get me through university in the hope of better pay prospects along with a less physically and emotionally demanding job. I still reckon it's the hardest job I ever did (and worst paid!)
  • Campbell Hardy
    Very dependent on context. Would to a large degree be over looked in a general working arrangement, however would be looked at in great detail regarding a project. Further more I would go far as saying these particular areas aren't just a risk to H&S but rather a risk to the very success of a business.
  • Jan Hall
    Agree totally. Links in with workplace bullying. And ANY poor performing section of a business is a success risk.
  • Pia
    Yes I totally agree they contribute. Especially resourcing. But they are also a risk to the 'culture' of an organisation which in-turn contributes to safety.
    They also indicate the care and attention the SMT are showing in regards to the business - and potentially their attitude to their workers.
  • Chris Peace
    These are surely performance shaping factors. See the HSE guide "Reducing error and influencing behaviour"and the IEC standard 62508 "Human aspects of dependability". They directly affect the individual workers, the job and the organisation.
  • Chris Peace
    I merged a diagram from each to summarise aspects of both documents and it shows nicely how the job, organisation and individual worker can interact to result in poor outcomes.
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