Watch Out for Hidden Bullies
workplace bullyWorkplace safety meeting notices don’t generally receive quite the same attention from employees, as Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars announcing they are performing at your next ‘brown bag’ lunch room meeting.

The traditional image of workplace safety involves hi-visibility vests, hard hats, eye and ear protection equipment, and other very obvious devices designed to protect employees from hazards. Hazards are easy to see if you are paying attention: the wobbly ladder, the broken window, the frayed power cable, the hole in the sidewalk, the liquid spill. Hazards are there in front of you to see to and to respond to.

The hazards we talk about at Fiore Group Training, are not those sorts of hazards.

The hazards we focus on are those that hide in plain sight. They are the ones that are right in front of us every day, but we never seem to see them until it’s too late!

We don’t see our co-worker as being an obvious workplace safety risk. Then, we recognize that the reason we don’t like going to work anymore, is because of the anxiety of having to be in that office meeting with him, or her. Or, we find ourselves standing beside the piece of office equipment that he or she is using, and are obliged to wait.

We know from previous experience that at some point they will make some demeaning comment about our work, make a “joke” at our expense, or remark openly about some personal feature of ours to the rest of the employees in the office.

We try to remind ourselves that it’s just the way they are, and they have been that way since you first got the job.

Unfortunately, this is just not a person with whom you have a difference of opinion, or someone who does not share your sense of humour or work ethic.

No.  That person is a bully.

The new sections of the Workers Compensation Act (Bill 14) that came into effect on November 1st 2013 are more critical to our lives than ever before, because they deal specifically with worker, supervisor, and employer responsibilities around the issues of bullying and harassment in the workplace.

Remember, the more we know…….the less they (the bully) can hide…even if they are standing right in front of us.