Tackling Sexual Harassment – The Priorities for Creating a Safe Workplace in 2018

Tackling Sexual Harassment - The Priorities for Creating a Safe Workplace in 2018

Sexual harassment is not a new topic amongst businesses, but it’s an incredibly important one. All men and women deserve to work in an environment that they feel safe and secure in, and that starts with cracking down on sexual harassment in the workplace.

No matter what industry you work in, if you’re a business leader, then you have the responsibility to create a safe workplace for your employees. To start addressing this worldwide problem in your business and set the tone for responsible business practices, there are a number of things that you should prioritize.

Here are five of the most important priorities for establishing a workplace that is safe for every single employee:

 

Priority One: Treating Claims Seriously

Suffering from sexual harassment in the workplace and having the courage to report it, only to be turned away by business leaders and HR representatives, is a trust-destroying experience. Individuals who have the courage to report harassment, should be treated to the respect of having the claims taken seriously.

All business leaders should strive to build a workplace that supports employees and shows that mutual respect is a guarantee. This means taking all claims, big and small, seriously, with investigations carried out to get to the bottom of the accusations.

 

Priority Two: Get Support from the Top  

Support for sexual harassment claims should come from the top of a company and filter down to the bottom. New plans for sexual harassment prevention and all forms of support should come from the management team, setting a firm tone for the rest of the company to follow.

By taking control from the top, a business shows that they’re serious about sexual harassment crackdown and that they are willing to do whatever it takes to put a stop to the issue.

 

Priority Three: Full Organizational Support 

Support from the top shouldn’t start and end with giving direction to another department. Leaving the problem of sexual harassment solely to one department to work out is demonstrating a lack of commitment from the rest of the organization, and the business leaders in particular.

Leaders need to make sure that the full organization is informed of the rules for sexual harassment and are fully on board. Every single employee and leader needs to feel comfortable speaking up and dealing with the issue head on.

 

Priority Four: Making Everyone Accountable

One rule for one person and another rule for someone else is never going to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. Just as the employees need to be accountable for their actions, so do the leadership and management team of any sized organization.

It should be made clear that the leaders are as accountable for sexual harassment laws, policies, and standards, as every other member of the workforce. A singular rule for everyone must be enforced.

 

Priority Five: Zero Tolerance Rules

There are few quicker ways to break the trust and lose the respect of a workforce than by going back on rules for something as important as sexual harassment. The only way to end sexual harassment once and for all is through zero tolerance that applies to everyone.

Zero tolerance sets the rules and tells every member of an organization what will happen if they’re broken. By setting a zero-tolerance rule, a leader can begin changing the company culture for the better, telling everyone exactly where they stand with sexual harassment.

 

Sexual harassment is something that is slowly but surely being tackled in workplaces around the world. As more and more business leaders get their priorities straight for eliminating sexual harassment, workplaces are starting to become safer, more secure, and much more positive places.

Need advice on insurance cover for sexual harassment claims and disputes? Concerned about your insurance coverage from reputation damage and settlement costs? Whether you’re an employee or employer, you can call us today to get the answers you need about insurance and sexual harassment in the workplace.

It’s Time to Put an End to Heat Stress in the Summer Workplace

It’s Time to Put an End to Heat Stress in the Summer Workplace

Workers face a number of risks every day, but when summer rolls around, there are a whole new set of risks to deal with. One of the most serious of these is heat-related hazards and the associated illnesses that can arise.

Heat-related illnesses (HRI) are suffered from by thousands of US workers on a yearly basis. These can quickly turn into much more serious problems, like heat stroke and exhaustion, when the right safety measures and prevention tactics are not put into place. In the worst cases, HRI’s can turn fatal, killing 30 people each year on average.

While the statistics are truly shocking, especially when you look at the big picture and realize hundreds of people have died in just a decade, the reality is, every one of the HRI fatalities could have been avoided.

Want to better equip your workplace to avoid the risk of HRI’s from occurring? Here’s what you need to know…

The Different Types of Heat-Related Illness

There are five different types of HRI, each of which has clear warning signs that you should always be on the lookout for. Some employees are more prone to suffering from HRI’s, including those that are over the age of 65, take medication, or have certain existing conditions, like obesity or heart disease.

The five HRI’s and their symptoms, include:

  1. Heat Stroke
  • Dry hot skin
  • Red skin with no sweat
  • Unconsciousness or incoherency
  • High body temperature
  1. Heat Rash – The result of consistently sweaty skin and blocked sweat glands
  • Raised rashes
  • Blistered rashes
  1. Heat Cramps – The result of loss of electrolytes and water
  • Cramped legs
  • Cramped abdomen
  1. Heat Exhaustion
  • Headaches
  • Pale Skin
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Dizziness and blurred vision
  • Severe sweating
  • Fainting
  1. Heat Syncope – The result of sudden movement or standing for too long
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Risks in the Workplace

There are a number of key risks in the workplace, and those that are associated with certain jobs, that can increase the risk of an HRI occurring. These include:

  • Long hours working
  • High humidity and air temperature
  • Radiant heat
  • Direct sunlight exposure
  • No access to water
  • No air movement
  • Difficult work
  • The wrong type of clothing

The Warnings Signs to Be on the Lookout for

While different job types expose workers to different risks and a varied likelihood of an HRI occurring, there are some major symptoms that could indicate that a worker may be suffering from, or likely to suffer from, an HRI. These include:

  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Dark Urine
  • Swollen Lips
  • Reddened Skin
  • Changing Moods

Employers – Take Action!

If any of the symptoms arise, it’s important to give your employee time to cool down and get a drink. However, there are also prevention measures that should be put in place, including:

  • Training to spot risks and signs
  • Caffeine, alcohol, and sugar avoidance
  • Easy access to water
  • Humidity and temperature monitoring
  • Better work schedule, work cycles, and worker acclimatization
  • Heat-control related work equipment
  • Heat management emergency program
  • Buddy system for risk identification

In the heat of summer, it’s of the upmost importance to keep a check on the conditions that you or your employees are working in. Through the implementation of essential tactics for safety, you can provide a much more suitable workplace.

If you want more information about how insurance can help you to get the treatment you need for HRI’s, or what you are covered for, please contact us today so we can answer any questions you might have!