Diversity in the workplace
Health and safety in a work place plays a big role on the employers’ health, and diversity in a work place can affect this, and the work environment, in a considerable way.
I am aiming for the profession as a mill worker. there are different work positions at a mill, and I am going to immerse in the positions on the “floor”, not the office positions. As a mill worker on the floor there is a lot of cleaning and heavy lifting included. There is also bolting and working on machines included. It is probably no surprise that this is a male-dominated profession, and that there is also a lot of health and safety rules in this profession.
In Norway there is something called HMS, which stands for health, environment and safety. There are strict rules about this in the working life in Norway, and it led to different demands and rules, that needs to be followed, for a safe workplace. For instance, at the mill it is important to wear hearing protection to protect your hearing, and a dust mask in the areas where it is a lot of dust. You also need to wear shoes that protects your foot in case you were to drop something on it. The awareness of how you carry things is important to avoid back struggles. when working with machines it is very important to be careful and wear proper protective clothes in case something happens and create a dangerous situation. The employer also has to ensure that ventilation, temperature, lightning, toilet, washing and rest facilities follow health and safety laws.
Diversity at the working place can affect safety and the work environment in many ways. There could for example be misunderstanding because of language, there is people from different origins, and they understand Norwegian well, but there are still some language barriers, that we need to be aware of so that things are done right. There is also a majority of men, and at some areas they tend to care a little bit less about safety which makes them more likely to place themselves in dangerous situation.
According to one of “Harvard Business Review” text`s there is three different kind of diversity. These are demographic diversity, which is gender, race and sexual orientation, there is also experiential diversity, which is our affinities, hobbies and abilities, and cognitive diversity, which is how we approach problem and think about things.
The environment at the mill also gets affected by the diversity of the workers. The demographic diversity at the mill is very man dominated, it has few people of a different race, and none with a different sexual orientation than straight. There are much experiential diversities, the people working there have different hobbies, abilities and affinities. Some of them play football, some of them play video games, some work on a farm in addition, some spends time with their family, they all have different hobbies. The mill workers have different abilities, some of them can work a double shift, then start early the day after, while others struggle more than enough by working one shift each day.
The last form of diversity according to the “Harvard Business Review” is cognitive diversity, which is how we approach problem and think about things, at this form of diversity there is also considerable differences at the mill. A few of the workers always find something to do, and works from start until end, while others take breaks when they can, and work as little as possible.