Entering the job market can be a daunting yet exciting step for most students. We spend countless years honing our knowledge and skills and working to become the top candidates for our dream jobs. So, when the job offers start coming in, the excitement can be so intense that you don’t think of much else before you sign the contract.
Nonetheless, there are several critical factors to consider before joining any corporation as an employee. Apart from ensuring fair remuneration, employers are liable to protect and nurture their employees in various facets. Employers can sometimes endanger their employee’s well-being in several ways. These can be physical and psychological and can come with long-lasting repercussions. If you’re looking to protect yourself, you need to know the various ways in which employers can harm employee well-being.
If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading below.
Exposure to harmful substances
Although you may not imagine it, some workplaces may lead to exposure to various harmful substances. If you work in the construction industry, military, automobile, or electronics, you may be at an exceptionally increased risk of exposure to toxic substances. Harmful exposure can be anything, ranging from dust and debris to exposure to hazardous chemicals that can have a lasting impact. In some professions, exposure can be difficult to prevent. However, it is still the employer’s responsibility to inform employees of the risk and mitigate it to the highest degree.
Asbestos exposure happens to be one of the biggest risks to employees in the workplace. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause mesothelioma, a life-threatening respiratory cancer. Many industries often knowingly expose employees to asbestos fibers without informing them of the risk. In such cases, a mesothelioma lawsuit is the only option. This lawsuit can help you get financial compensation which can be essential in the aftermath of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Long working hours
When you join any workplace, you can expect to have some relatively hectic days compared to your usual schedule. At times, working overtime is a necessity and becomes unavoidable. However, suppose you feel that your working hours regularly stretch beyond the agreed-upon limit. In that case, your employer may be harming your well-being and exploiting your labor. Often, employers who force workers to work overtime don’t offer fair compensation for the extra hours either, leading to increased distress.
Long working hours also often entail fewer or shorter breaks, which can be incredibly damaging for an employee’s physical and mental health. These drawn-out working hours can lead to greater dissatisfaction at work, reduced productivity, and greater fatigue. Moreover, fatigue can be so intense that it can impact the immune system and put employees at a higher risk of cardiovascular issues and other ailments. So, if you feel your working hours are too drawn-out, it may be time to schedule a conversation with your employer.
Lack of access to proper equipment
Many workplaces require employees to work with specialized materials and in specific situations where they need the proper equipment. Construction workers, researchers, tech developers, landscapers, and electricians often work in environments where their tools are vital to their performance. However, lack of access to these tools won’t just impact job performance; it can also increase the risk of injuries.
Electricians working without quality equipment can put themselves at risk of harm. Similarly, construction workers without safety equipment can be at a higher risk of falls and other injuries. Any equipment that employees use needs to be properly maintained too. It necessitates regular checkups, replacements, and more to ensure that employees aren’t put at risk. If you feel that your employer isn’t checking in on the equipment, you may have cause to be worried.
No proper training
Nowadays, most jobs require employees to perform highly specialized roles, especially when working with their hands. Although employees may have prior experiential and theoretical knowledge, they need formal training by the employer to stay completely safe. If an employer fails to provide timely and adequate training, they may end up endangering their employees.
OSHA guidelines firmly assert that employers need to disseminate and elaborate upon all safety precautions that employees may need to take. These can include job-specific and general evacuation guidelines too. Training classes, demonstrations and materials need to be widely provided to ensure that employees are well-equipped to keep themselves safe.
Toxic working environment
Employers need to be incredibly careful about their employees’ physical and mental well-being. They must ensure that their workplace culture is proactive and positive instead of toxic. At times, the toxicity and negativity in company culture can be the biggest issue for employee well-being, even when compared to physical dangers. A toxic work culture can include different forms of harassment perpetrated by the leadership and fellow employees.
Physical, emotional, and sexual harassment are common characteristics of a toxic working environment. They can harm the employees physically and mentally. Employers need to closely monitor all the interactions to ensure that no employees receive unfair treatment. It can include paying close attention to any complaints and creating an effective and proactive HR department that promptly handles any issues.
Badly designed workplace
Although you may not think it, a badly designed workplace can hugely impact employee well-being. Many employers may want to cut corners when creating their offices. They may follow traditional designs that fail to account for employee comfort. These offices can be messy and uncomfortable for employees and impact their physical and emotional well-being.
Badly designed workplaces can lack ergonomic facilities, which can be incredibly tiring for employees and lead to long-term issues. Moreover, these workplaces can be cluttered and messy, reducing motivation and productivity alongside posing a health hazard. A poorly designed workplace can also lack access to green places and natural light, severely impacting employee well-being with time. As an employee, it’s important to know which factors can influence satisfaction and motivation – so that you can communicate your needs to your employer.
Before you join a company, there are various factors you need to consider. Employers have multiple duties to their workers, and failing to provide them can result in serious repercussions. If you feel that your workplace has any of these few aspects, they may be endangering your mental and physical well-being. Therefore, look for all of the issues mentioned above in your workplace and don’t hesitate to take action.