Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Three things You Should Never Force Employees To Do

2 min read

There are three things that an employer should never “force” an employee to do…

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Work at heights”  –  Some employees are afraid of heights .  This is called acrophobia.  An employee with this disorder may fear being on a ladder, scaffold or even working near the edge of a mezzanine.  Symptoms include shaking, sweating, and freezing up.  Forcing an employee with this condition to work off the ground could result in their making unsafe decisions that lead to a serious fall.  There are degrees of acrophobia.  Some have problems working just a few feet off of the ground; while others only have problems at much greater heights.

Enter confined spaces” –  Some employees are afraid of confined spaces.  This is called claustrophobia.  Symptoms could range from uncomfort and anxiety, rapid respiration/heart rate, to an outright panic attack.   Employees with this disorder should not be required to work in, or even enter, a confined space.

Render first aid” –  Some employees are afraid of blood.  This is called  hemophobia.  Employees with this disorder should not be trained as first aiders and required to render first aid to injured workers.  Hemophobia is the abnormal and extreme fear of the sight of blood (either ones own or another persons’).  Symptoms include dizziness, anxiety and even fainting.

Employers have a need to know about any employees who have phobias that could impact their ability to safely perform certain tasks.  It might be advisable to modify your job application form to identify applicants with these conditions before they are placed in a job requiring one of these three things.   Also, to insure current workers are not put into a situation that might cause them anxiety or harm, consider asking them if they have any of these conditions.

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