Mental Health, Stress Injury, Psychological Safety
Psychological Safety Hazards present just as much of a safety risk as Physical Safety Hazards in the workplace. If we wouldn’t ignore someone sitting in front of us with a broken leg, then we must treat someone’s Psychological Safety with same care, empathy, and respect. To learn more about some common (reasonably foreseeable) Psychological Hazards present at our worksites, click the tabs above. For ideas on how to get started, check out the additional information below the video.
It can be intimidating to talk about Mental Health and Psychological Safety; you may understandably be afraid of saying the wrong thing and making things worse. The evidence shows that it is, in fact, not having the conversation at all that causes the most harm. The first step is acknowledging that it is a conversation worth starting. There are plenty of resources, including us, that can help you with some specific ideas and language.
Like the video says, one day maybe we won’t talk separately about mental & physical health but rather just health. Part of reaching that goal is letting people know that it is OK to not be OK. Talk about available resources and about the challenges of the day. If you feel safe and able to do so, acknowledging any of your own experiences can have a significant impact on others. You don’t have to give a blow by blow account, (and you do need to be mindful of others’ safety if you talk about specific or potentially harrowing details); however, simply acknowledging that you have some experience can send a powerful message.
Cultural change takes time and is often incremental at best. Twenty + years ago very few people in our industry wore harnesses when working at height and those who did were sometimes ridiculed. The problems of Fatigue, Stress, Job Insecurity, Harassment & Bullying may seem overwhelming but with your help, twenty years from now we hope that people will be amazed that anyone was ever ridiculed for trying. Join us.
Ask yourself this question: “Would I want a child I care about working in our industry?”. For all that is good, many of us may answer no, or at the very least, pause, before answering. The truth is, that that “pause” tells us a lot about what we have to do make our job sites safer. 10 years ago we rarely saw safety vests and hard hats or safety briefings; now they are slowly becoming more common. To make our spaces safer, we need to follow this simple formula:
Physical Safety + Psychological Safety = Safer Spaces