Everyone is bound to become ill from time to time – it’s simply how viruses and minor illnesses such as colds work. However, if you experience constant aches and pains at the end of the work day, or you are exhausted or dread going to work every day, this can be alarming and may be cause for concern.
Not all employers keep their workers’ health at the forefront, although they are required to do so by law. Depending on your work environment, this may impact your health in several different ways.
Here are some factors to consider if you think your job may be hurting your health.
Do You Work In A Physically Dangerous Environment?
Some people work in and around physically dangerous environments all the time. This is true for those who work in construction, home-building industries, automotive industries and mechanic shops, and various heavy industries, such as coal-mining, coke plants, and other metal industries. When working in this type of workplace, employers are required to provide safety training and emergency training to all their employees before they start working on the floor. Continued training is just as important at regular intervals, and especially if there are any big changes made.
If your job function changes in any way, such as having to lift heavier objects than before, or having to endure environments rife with mould, mildew, or chemical solvents or physical pain become too much and medication simply will not work, this is a sure sign that your job is hurting your health.
Is Your Workplace Mentally Or Emotionally Damaging?
When you first began working where you are, things may have gone quite well. You had no problems or troubles with your boss or management team, everyone got along well, and everything seemed to be running smoothly. Sometimes however, even when a job begins in a positive manner, things may take a turn for the worse, and nearly everyone suffers from it.
Do you dread going in to work every day because of the uncomfortable environment with your co-workers?
Is your boss short-tempered and tends to snap rather than speak in a civil tone?
Is employee turnover higher than usual, especially in your office or department?
Mentally or emotionally abusive bosses and workmates are one of the most common causes for high employee turnover. No worker should ever have to endure bad behaviour from anyone in the workplace.
If your human resources department won’t intervene to create a more cordial work environment, you may need to contact a solicitor for a legal consultation. Find out what the laws state and what can be done to improve this situation immediately.
Do Any Of Your Workmates Use Drugs Or Alcohol Before Or During Work?
No employer should be tolerant of drug or alcohol use at work. No one can work well when they are on drugs or drunk. Even if you may feel like a grass, notify your boss immediately if you suspect or know someone is doing this.
This is especially important if you work in heavy machinery industries or the construction industry. These types of work behaviours can put everyone’s lives at risk. Protecting a workmate who comes to work drunk or high jeopardises the lives of everyone else in that space, including yours.
Are You Expected To Work Too Many Long Hours?
Working longer hours at work can come as a relief when we need a little extra money. However, constantly being demanded to work long hours can be physically and mentally draining. This most often occurs during shift work operations, or when there simply aren’t enough employees to cover production within a company or plant.
In addition to sheer physical and mental exhaustion, long hours also mean limited time with family, friends, and for sleep. When long hours get in the way of life, it can be detrimental to your overall health in the long run.
Is Shift Work Affecting Your Health?
Though day shifts are almost never a problem to work, the late night or overnight shift is the time when workers tend to experience difficulties. It isn’t natural for people to sleep during the day, and sometimes a worker may not be able to get their room dark enough to get the quality of sleep that they need.
Employers often find it difficult to find workers willing to do night shifts with the result that willing workers find themselves stuck doing that shift multiple times. You should know that you have a right to refuse if working night shifts are hurting your health. It is the employers’ responsibility to ensure that they have sufficient staff to cover night shifts.
Look After Your Health
Your health comes first. If you think your job is hurting your health in any way, you have a responsibility to yourself and your loved ones to do something about it. The first step may be to talk to your boss or to the HR department. The law makes it mandatory for employers to take cognisance of workers’ health complaints and put measures in place to rectify them. If your employer does not address your health issues, you should talk to a solicitor to determine your next steps of action.