Taking human health and safety requirements into consideration is an important element of organizational management. It is not only important to assure employees that the organization is concerned with their health and safety in order to keep them motivated, but it is also an important aspect of organizational ethics. It is essential that any and every organization must take all the health and safety measures concerning employees into account which are related to their organizational activity.
According to the case a major insurance company gets into a merger with another company's call center that employs both man and woman. The said call center has been going through serious organizational mismanagements before its merger. The increasing employee turnover at the call center implies that the employees do not enjoy the required level of job satisfaction. While it is true that the degree to which an employee is motivated greatly depends on his qualification, skill and personal interest, it is equally important for the employer to take interest in keeping the employees motivated. In many organizations, especially in smaller units such as a call center, there is a perception that entitling employees to monetary benefits is sufficient to keep them motivated. Such organizations especially tend to ignore the need of taking health and safety of employees into consideration. It is perceived that health and safety considerations are only requirements for organizations that require workers to indulge in dangerous jobs or work under dangerous work conditions. In reality, that is not the case. Health and safety needs are as important for any other job and organization as it is for dangerous jobs. The insurance company that has taken over the call center will have to especially focus on the health and safety management as the case implies that a lot of employee related problems are due to the fact that the health and safety standards have been ignored. In order to address this issue, the insurance company will have to develop a clear system and a set of clear rules and regulations related to organization's health and safety policies (Gabrielle, 2009). These rules and regulations must be made clear to all employees, regardless of their hierarchal position. Since the call center is now part of the insurance company, the new legislation will have to be equally implemented throughout the organization (Zutshi & Sohal, 2005). This is necessary to avoid any indications of discrimination. This means that adherence to all health and safety measures must be binding on every member throughout all levels in the organization.
So, coming on to the policy that needs to be developed, the policy will be made, evaluated by the respective groups and then implemented. The following OH & S. policy will be implemented on individual employee level, security officer level and management level. The policy is outlined below outlining the roles and responsibilities for each group:
Performing the work with responsibility towards safety in order to ensure that safety hazards are not created for yourself and others.
Reporting immediately any incidents that indicate a situation that might lead to future accidents in the call center.
Ensuring that the computer equipment and the seating arrangement is in good condition to prevent any major accidents.
Being a part of a team as an advisor in order to give fruitful suggestions in making the working environment more secure.
Implementing on the directions of the health and safety committee members.
In order to ensure a safe environment, advising management on the legal and sensitive issues regarding maintenance of a safe working environment.
Suggesting on what type of protective clothing and equipment to be provided in the call centre in the case of emergency.
Conducting special security meetings from time to consider any potential threats in the working environment reported by the employees and managerial staff.
Conducting out investigations of any accident investigations.
Preparation of inspection reports.
Establishing effective controls within the organization to counter any potential internal and external threats in the working environment.
Ensuring the implementation of all safety programs advised by the security officers.
Co-operating with health and safety committee members.
Reporting all accidents immediately and conducting the investigations immediately.
Assisting the government investigators in their enquiry into any major accidents.
Conducting regular classes for employees for safety precautions.
Marketing the safety policy through regular reminders on notice board relating to safety policy and any recent incidents that are an example of safety threats.
The organization should set up strict regulations about common health and safety issues such as use of drug, alcohol and smoking. Since the organization employees both male and female, clear rules regarding workplace harassment should also be taken into consideration. This is important because in organizations where harassment of opposite sex is common, people tend to feel unsafe which in turn affects their morale. This harassment may be verbal or even implied. Many times harassment for one person may not be harassment for another. For this reason it is important that work place harassment must be clearly defined in the organization's Occupational Health and Safety Policy.
Next, since the call center job requires long sitting on the desk with eyes focused on the computer screen it is important that employees are given sufficient breaks in order to relax themselves. This can be done by providing a comfortable common room for relaxation (Hancock & Desmond, 2001). Along with that it is important that the chairs are comfortable enough for long sittings and the computer screens must be provided with eye shields in order to prevent strain on eyes which occurs due to continuous look on computer screens.
Secondly, provision of medical assistance on the work place for all twenty four hours is important. This is because the call center is in function for twenty four hours. Since the organization employs both male and female employees, it is important to have a male doctor along with a female doctor. This is important because in certain cases, female employees might not be comfortable with being examined by male doctors and vice versa. Since medical assistance is needed twenty four hours, it is important that separate doctors are employed for at least two shifts. This is because it might be exhausting for the doctor him/herself to work for so long without a rest. One major issue for the organization might be that employing separate doctors, both male and female, could increase the costs of the organization. Another major issue is that employees might be involved in serious types of health problems such as heart problems, medicating which might cost much more to the organization than expected.
The call center employees are also involved in drug and alcohol abuse. This violates the corporate norms and is highly unprofessional. Moreover, it is also unsafe for co workers to work in an environment where their colleagues are involved in substance abuse. In order to control drug abuse in call centre strict guidelines shall be put in place within the organizational environment to ensure that any employee including the medical staff does not think of making use of drugs. Such policies might include having surprise dope tests of employees with inappropriate behavior and chalking out policies to warn those who continuously make use of drugs. To make things strict, employees can be checked for carrying suspicious substance and objects into the work area and must be penalized if they are found to be in possession of any such substance (Gunningham & Johnston, 1999). It should however be taken into consideration that many times drug and alcohol abuse at workplace is a psychological impact of issues related to workplace. In order to counter this, it would be a healthier option to have a psychologist hired by the organization. Employees can have weekly or monthly counseling sessions with the psychologist. Keeping it on weekly or monthly basis would help keeping down the costs. The psychologist can help employees deal with workplace pressures. Since some illicit drugs such as morphine are at times taken for medications, a clear policy must be provided as to under what circumstances these drugs are allowed to be carried to the work place. The organization's drug policy is given as follows:
All addictive drugs including Cocaine, Hash, Heroin, LSD and Sniffing glue shall be classified as illicit drugs.
All illicit and addictive drugs are strictly prohibited to be carried into the premises of workplace.
A surprise dope test will be conducted for each employee every month.
All employees must see the in-house doctor for routine medical check up once every month.
If a classified illicit drug is being taken as a form of medication by any employee, the employee shall submit a medical certificate to the management.
In case an employee is found in possession of any illicit drug or is found positive on a dope test, the employee shall be fined 3 months' salary, or a jail of up to 2 years or both.
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