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Hands up for Health & Safety SAFE WORK MONTH 2009 DISCLAIMER This presentation represents the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Government.

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Presentation on theme: "Hands up for Health & Safety SAFE WORK MONTH 2009 DISCLAIMER This presentation represents the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Government."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Hands up for Health & Safety SAFE WORK MONTH 2009 DISCLAIMER This presentation represents the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Government of South Australia. The information contained in this presentation is for general information only. In delivering this presentation, every effort has been made to ensure that information reflects the intent of the legislation and represents examples of best known workplace practice. However, businesses, organisations and individuals are reminded that it is their own responsibility to ensure the safety of their workplaces and their own responsibility to inform themselves about, and to find solutions for, occupational health, safety and welfare issues present in their workplaces. The information contained in this presentation does not constitute legal advice or professional advice of any kind. It is your responsibility to seek independent professional advice of all kinds where appropriate in particular, SafeWork SA recommends that you seek your own legal advice should you require an interpretation of the legislation. The Crown will not be liable for any injury, damage of loss sustained by any party arising from reliance upon information in this presentation. Safe Work Week 2O1O The Active Health and Safety Representative Conference Wednesday 27 October 2010 Presented by SA Unions

3 BULLY BLOCKING SAFE WORK MONTH 2009 Gerry Conley DISCLAIMER This presentation represents the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Government of South Australia. The information contained in this presentation is for general information only. In delivering this presentation, every effort has been made to ensure that information reflects the intent of the legislation and represents examples of best known workplace practice. However, businesses, organisations and individuals are reminded that it is their own responsibility to ensure the safety of their workplaces and their own responsibility to inform themselves about, and to find solutions for, occupational health, safety and welfare issues present in their workplaces. The information contained in this presentation does not constitute legal advice or professional advice of any kind. It is your responsibility to seek independent professional advice of all kinds where appropriate in particular, SafeWork SA recommends that you seek your own legal advice should you require an interpretation of the legislation. The Crown will not be liable for any injury, damage of loss sustained by any party arising from reliance upon information in this presentation. Safe Work Week 2O1O

4 BULLY BLOCKING AIMS To provide HSR’s with information on non- aggressive response techniques to inappropriate behaviour Safe Work Week 2O1O

5 BULLY BLOCKING OBJECTIVES Define inappropriate behaviour and describe how it is excused and why it happens Explain the types of bullying and bullying behaviour Outline methods of dealing with workplace bullying Safe Work Week 2O1O

6 WHAT IS IT?  Bullying is the  Deliberate  Hurtful  Repeated mistreatment of a Target by a bully driven by the bully’s desire to Control the Target Safe Work Week 2O1O

7 WHAT IT ISN’T o Reasonable and appropriate performance feedback/counselling o Objective critical comments o Reasonable decisions based on evidence to demote, discipline, counsel or dismiss an employee or not to award or provide a promotion, transfer or benefit Safe Work Week 2O1O

8 OVERT BULLYING o Repeatedly shouting at staff in public and private o Public humiliation o Personal insults o Persistent criticism o Persecution through threats or instilling fear o Constantly undervaluing effort Safe Work Week 2O1O

9 OVERT BULLYING o Spreading malicious, unfounded rumours o Labelling o Freezing out, ignoring, excluding o Dispensing punishment out of the blue o Never listening to another’s point of view o Spontaneous rages over trivial matters Safe Work Week 2O1O

10 COVERT BULLYING o Being repeatedly told off for not completing tasks o Having challenging and interesting jobs withdrawn without good reason o Having telephone calls and emails checked o Not being invited to meetings you previously would have attended Safe Work Week 2O1O

11 COVERT BULLYING o Being monitored repeatedly or without warning o Receiving accusatory notes on the last day before you go on leave or have time off o Being called in to the Boss’s/Manager’s office without warning o Never having your point of view considered o Being stared at by the bully Safe Work Week 2O1O

12 HOW IS IT EXCUSED? o Personality clash o Attitude problem o Unreasonable behaviour o Strong/robust management o Poor sense of humour o Being paranoid/too sensitive Safe Work Week 2O1O

13 HOW IS IT EXCUSED? o Doesn’t really mean it o Ignore it and it will go away o Being small minded o Planting self doubt Safe Work Week 2O1O

14 WHY DOES IT TAKE PLACE? o Power plays o Poor management skills o Poor people skills o Insecurity o Rivalry o Cultural/political/religious differences Safe Work Week 2O1O

15 WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A BULLY? o Believe it is the only way to effectively manage o To avoid facing up to their own inadequacy o To divert attention away from their inadequacy o Unable and unwilling to recognise that their behaviour is bullying Safe Work Week 2O1O

16 WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A BULLY? o Must have someone to control o Has never learnt to accept responsibility for their behaviour o Has abdicated and denied responsibility for their behaviour and its consequences in the past Safe Work Week 2O1O

17 SOME TYPES OF BULLYING o Client – customer/client bullying with lack of support from management o Serial – one individual who picks on one employee after another, the most common form o Secondary – unwitting bullying which people start exhibiting when there’s a serial bully around Safe Work Week 2O1O

18 SOME TYPES OF BULLYING o Pair – a serial bully with a colleague o Gang – a serial bully with a number of colleagues o Vicarious – where a serial bully creates conflict between the Manager and another staff member and stokes it o Regulation – where a serial bully forces their target to comply with rules, regulations, procedures regardless of their appropriateness for the situation Safe Work Week 2O1O

19 SOME TYPES OF BULLYING o Residual bullying – continues in the workplace after the bully has left. Like recruits like and like promotes like o Cyber bullying – misuse of email or internet o Peer – bullying by colleagues with management interaction o Hierarchical – upward bullying of a manager by subordinate staff, eg going behind managers back to the Board/higher management when reasonably made decisions go against an employee Safe Work Week 2O1O

20 HOW DO BULLIES SELECT TARGETS? o Being in the wrong place at the wrong time – serial bullies are predatory and opportunistic o Being good at your job, often excelling therefore a threat o Being a Union Rep, HSR therefore perceived as a threat o Being popular o Having a strong sense of integrity Safe Work Week 2O1O

21 HOW DO BULLIES SELECT TARGETS? o Having at least one vulnerability that can be exploited o Refusing to become a corporate clone o Having a well defined set of values which you are unwilling to compromise o Joining the union o Showing independence Safe Work Week 2O1O

22 EVENTS THAT TRIGGER BULLYING o Previous target leaves o Reorganisation o Undertaking Union Rep or HSR functions o Blowing the whistle o Challenging the status quo o Refusing to follow an inappropriate instruction Safe Work Week 2O1O

23 EVENTS THAT TRIGGER BULLYING o Previous target leaves o Reorganisation o Undertaking Union Rep or HSR functions o Blowing the whistle o Challenging the status quo o Refusing to follow an inappropriate instruction Safe Work Week 2O1O

24 PERSONAL TRAITS IRRESISTIBLE TO BULLIES o Sensitivity o Slow to anger o Helpful o Difficulty saying no o A strong forgiving streak o Low assertiveness o A need to feel valued o Higher than average levels of dependency, naivety, guilt Safe Work Week 2O1O

25 PERSONAL TRAITS IRRESISTIBLE TO BULLIES o A strong sense of fair play and the desire to always be reasonable o Always thinking well of others o Quick to apologise when accused even if not guilty o Imaginative, creative, innovative o A sense of humour, quick witted o Tolerance Safe Work Week 2O1O

26 DEALING WITH BULLYING – BULLYING AND THE LAW Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 o Section 55A – Inappropriate behaviour at work o Section 19 – Duties of employers o Section 21 – Duties of employees o Section 35 – Default Notices Safe Work Week 2O1O

27 DEALING WITH BULLYING – INTERNAL PROCEDURES o Internal policy and procedures o EA – Grievance Procedure, Dispute Resolution Process Safe Work Week 2O1O

28 DEALING WITH BULLYING – PROBLEMS o Staff don’t socialise much outside working hours o Employees complain to the Union Rep or HSR  but won’t file incident reports or grievances  won’t support any action by the rep  don’t communicate problems to co-workers o Employees may  rat on their peers  irrationally support the bully  not perceive the pattern of behaviour  be hypersensitive to management Safe Work Week 2O1O

29 DEALING WITH BULLYING – PROBLEMS o The Bully will  target one individual at a time, be subtle in the torture – so outsiders won’t see  be cordial and deferential to other staff and superiors  be totally resistant to therapy or change Safe Work Week 2O1O

30 The Bully will  Assert there is nothing wrong  Says it’s just one or two malcontents  Has no insight into the consequences of his/her behaviour  Gains support form others (eg Board, higher management levels)  Focuses first on those who don’t bow down  May increase bullying behaviour Safe Work Week 2O1O DEALING WITH BULLYING – PROBLEMS

31 DEALING WITH BULLYING – INDIVIDUAL Step 1: Regain control o Recognise what is happening – name it o Criticisms and allegations which sometimes contain a grain of truth are not about your performance o Reduce the target o Think positively about yourself – ‘cancel that’. Don’t worry about what you can’t change Safe Work Week 2O1O

32 DEALING WITH BULLYING – INDIVIDUAL Step 1: Regain control o You are not at fault o You are not alone o You don’t have to handle it by yourself Safe Work Week 2O1O

33 DEALING WITH BULLYING – INDIVIDUAL Step 2: Plan for action o Seek advice from your Union Rep, HSR and/or Harassment Officer o Find out everything you can about bullying o Acknowledge your right to a safe and healthy workplace o Establish who you can rely on for support, at work, outside work Safe Work Week 2O1O

34 DEALING WITH BULLYING – INDIVIDUAL Step 3: Take action o Recognise what makes you feel comfortable and in control o Use the blank stare technique o Carry a notepad and pen with you and record everything in front of the bully o Use calm questioning techniques and confident statements o Be direct when asked Safe Work Week 2O1O

35 DEALING WITH BULLYING – INDIVIDUAL Step 3: Take action o Keep a diary of everything – number, regularity and pattern of incidents o Keep copies of all emails, letters, memos – get and keep everything in writing o Build yourself a support network – at work, at home, close friends Safe Work Week 2O1O

36 DEALING WITH BULLYING – GROUP o Recognise that bullying is occurring o Support individuals who are being bullied o Recognise it is not just one person’s problem o Socialise, arrange to meet outside work o Elect Union Rep and HSR o Support reps in their role Safe Work Week 2O1O

37 DEALING WITH BULLYING – GROUP o Work out tactics o Build the picture – Who? When? What? Why? o Collectively support an individual’s action o Plan a group approach to management o Plan and inform of a collective action – eg incident reports, grievances Safe Work Week 2O1O

38 DEALING WITH BULLYING – GROUP Reporting bullying is not tattling. Tattling is when you want to get someone in trouble. When you report bullying, you are helping someone else. It is important to know and understand the difference. Safe Work Week 2O1O

39 DEALING WITH BULLYING - HOW CAN WE HELP?  Support and validate the workers involved  Recognise and communicate that we are dealing with bullying – naming has power  Don’t expect what targets can’t give  Get information and support from your union  Facilitate concerted workplace action Safe Work Week 2O1O

40 DEALING WITH BULLYING – HOW CAN WE HELP?  Build evidence through staff surveys  Employee questionnaires permit honest communication of problem Build collective unity in workforce Allow reliable and valid communication to the union and higher organisation levels Allow measurement of change Safe Work Week 2O1O

41 DEALING WITH BULLYING – HOW CAN WE HELP?  Educate workers about the problem through meetings, training sessions  Keep pushing that unity is power and bullies are basically insecure people  Educate employer on the cost of the problem  Negotiate a procedure for the identification and prevention of inappropriate behaviour at work  Include clause on workplace bullying in EA and OHS&W policy Safe Work Week 2O1O

42 SA UNIONS OHS&W TRAINING UNIT If you have any queries please contact SA Unions OHS&W Training Unit on 8279 2248 or email saunions@saunions.org.au saunions@saunions.org.au Visit our website for the latest HSR & OHS&W training program www.saunions.org.au/hsrtrainingwww.saunions.org.au/hsrtraining Safe Work Week 2O1O SA Unions 46 Greenhill Road Wayville SA 5034


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