Preventing Injuries – Avoiding Sprains and Strains in The Workplace

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Preventing Injuries

4912144479158272Avoiding Sprains and Strains Online Training Train 100% online today and minimize risk of injury on the job site! This course is specifically designed for those whose work activities involve manual labour. You will find it covers introduction to ergonomics, musculoskeletal injury, signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with the onset of a MSI Strategies to minimize both risk of injury and improve overall comfort.

Who is this training for?

Employees whose work activities include manual labour.

What does it cover?

  •  Introduction to ergonomics
  •  What is a musculoskeletal injury?
  • chuckie-ohs Signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with the onset of a MSI
  •   Strategies to minimize both risk  of injury and improve overall comfort

Key Features & Benefits:

  •  Multimedia course with interactive and engaging content. Includes audio narration.
  •  Contains key components required under the Health and Safety Code Jurisdictions.
  •  Significantly reduces training costs often associated with in-person training or remote training sites.
  •  Employee can take the course at their convenience and revisit the content at any time.

Learn more about the Industrial Ergonomics online Training

An Instant Solution For Infections In Your Workplace

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Courtesy of Canada’s Occupational Health & Safety Magazine and The Safety Shop Magazine

related

Oil worker, 47, dies after workplace accident at Shell site

Saskatchewan changes law to help workers with psychological injuries

Ministry charges mining company over 2015 employee death

One dead after school bus collides with car in Ottawa; no students injured


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Bullying Scars

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The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person. ~ Mary Elizabeth Williams

The Impact on Adult Life and Relationships

Untitled-1An explosion of research on bullying has raised our collective awareness of the serious impacts it can reading6gifhave on children. No longer do we accept it as an innocuous rite of passage, just a part of growing up that we grin and bear and grow out of later. But do we grow out of it, or are there lingering effects that last well beyond the school playgrounds and lunchrooms?

Is bullying traumatic and, if so, does it last into adult life? Are there life-long consequences or are the effects pretty much shed as people grow? Are some of us more resilient than others? Are there any positive or saltwater-woman5unexpected outcomes as a result of being bullied (or having been a bully) as a child? In an effort to answer these questions, Bullying Scars describes childhood bullying from the vantage point of those victims, bullies, and bystanders who are now adults; the book discusses how lives have been changed, and explores the range of reactions adults exhibit.

The research gathered for this book, through interviews with over 800 people, points out that even adult decision-making is often altered by the victimisation they experience as children at the hands of peers, siblings, parents, or educators.

1058572-nerdy-emoticon-reading-a-bookWritten in an engaging and accessible style that draws heavily from the rich interview data that deLara has collected, this book will be of interest to anyone struggling with the lingering effects of being bullied. Additionally, it is highly relevant to mental health professionals — counsellors, therapists, social workers, clinical psychologists — working with clients who are dealing with these issues.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Bullying: The parameters of the problem into adulthood
  • Chapter 2 “Adult Post-Bullying Syndrome”
  • Chapter 3 Being Different: The Traces that Difference Leaves Behind
  • Chapter 4 “People-pleasing v. Revenge”: Consequences on development of being bullied
  • Chapter 5 “Angry Words Echo in My Brain”: Health and Mental Health Impacts
  • Chapter 6 Consequences in Relationships
  • Chapter 7 “I Am So Self-Conscious”: The Impact of Sexual Harassment
  • Chapter 8 Does Bullying Affect Decisions?
  • Chapter 9 It Comes Home to Roost: Bullying and the Family
  • Chapter 10 “Is There Anything Positive?”: Unexpected Outcomes of Bullying and Harassment
  • Conclusion

Author Information

Ellen Walser deLara, PhD, MSW, is Associate Professor on the faculty of the School of Social Work at Syracuse University. She is also a practicing family therapist with over 35 years’ experience working writingwith children, adolescents, and adults in both school and clinical settings. Her areas of research expertise address child maltreatment, school violence, and bullying from systemic and developmental perspectives. She has interviewed hundreds of teenagers and adults specifically about their secondary school experiences. Dr. deLara’s research has been featured on national and international media including: “The Today Show”; “Dateline”; “The Dr. Phil Show”; The Washington Post; CBC; and National Public Radio.

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Also of Interest

Housing First

Deborah Padgett, Benjamin Henwood, and Sam Tsemberis

9780199989805

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5 Tools That Helped Me Survive A Workplace Bully

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“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

girlWhen I watched the powerful 2012 documentary called Bullied, I cried in recognition, grief, anger and sheer sense of helplessness to stop it.

At the end, there were memorials for children who had taken their lives because of bullying. I wanted to reach through my TV and shake those school principals and parents. I understood the victims and their sense of isolation and despair.

The main difference between children’s bullying and adults’ bullying is that the more “mature” bully leaves no physical scars. After all, there are laws for that!

Having worked in mental health, I’ve seen the other kinds of scars. Unfortunately, I’ve also been victim to them myself.

Years ago, I worked at a children’s charity. The executive director (ED) verbally abused staff. The first time I heard her scream, I thought she was injured and ran into her office. I was shocked when I realized screaming was her way of asking for a file. I was expected to intuitively predict her needs 900x900px-LL-cfaf9244_2fcc5fd1_talkhand-talk-to-the-hand-talk-hand-smiley-emoticon-000673-largeor incur her wrath. Charming.

She looked like somebody’s grandma complete with stuffed toys in her office and cross-stitched frames with statements of kindness and love. Actually, if you are familiar with Harry Potter, she was like Dolores Umbridge with her kitten plates. Except her eyes bulged more.

This ED was revered in the community and at her church as a do-gooder. When people would come to the office to discuss making a donation, she would tearfully gush about how wonderful they were to support the children. After they left, she would call them the most ungodly names saying they were (bad word) cheap.

Why do they bully?

According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, bullies are more likely to intimidate and discredit the stronger, more competent people and not the ones who are weaker. Their targets also have different values from their own: including ethics, integrity, fairness and collaboration.

The payback for bullying is that, by discrediting their colleague/subordinate, the bully’s career usually thrives. This was most certainly my ED’s case.

I didn’t leave right away.  I stayed because I loved the cause, got along great with my colleagues and was fearful of being unemployed again. If you’re in that very difficult situation, here’s your toolbox:

Tool# 1: Learn how to speak up.

number1First I asked her to please tell me what she wanted or needed, “one thing at a time.”  Her response was to look at me with disgust and question my intelligence. I repeated that I needed her to be clearer and to remain respectful so that I could help her. The other thing I did was to firmly say “please, do not shout.”

She was shocked that someone would tell her “not to shout.” When she couldn’t deny what had just happened, she would dramatically grab her chest and say that she is a breast cancer survivor from 15 years ago. Then she would whimper that this was “affecting her today.”

When I spoke up, there were times that she would stop for awhile, but she had more experience and endurance at bullying than I did at stopping her. Still, my small successes gave me a temporary sense of control.

Tool #2: Find out the history of the company and who might help

number 2During my interview, I questioned the high turnover of that position. They explained that non-profits can’t pay well enough to keep people. That was a red herring.

It quickly became apparent that she had a long history of bullying. Long-time bullies ALWAYS have people protecting them and making excuses.

One of the board members, who originally interviewed me, told me that it is the fault of the employees for tolerating the behaviours and for staying. I pointed out to her that “nobody stays.”

Out of curiosity, I asked this board member what was great about this ED. It turns out that she had helped them get rid of a “bad” director who was destroying their reputation and ability to raise money. They felt “forever in her debt.”

It was clear no one was going to help the staff. Basically, the ED knew where the body was buried.

When they start blaming the victim, as this board member did with me: GET OUT! The cost of staying is too high.

Tool #3: Learn your legal rights.

number 3It’s hard to take action when you fear retaliation. Because of that same inaction, victims of bullying may have rights they are unaware of.

In my case, I believed that if I quit, I would not be eligible for employment benefits and I needed an income while looking for another job. Clearly, this woman would not give a fair work reference so I felt fearful and stuck.

When my father unexpectedly died, her abuse escalated. I quit and reported her to my provincial Labour Standards with documented events. It turned out there was already a file on her from past victims and I received benefits right away. So check out free legal clinics and get informed.

Two years later, a successor called me saying she had found the detailed letter of resignation I had written to the board. She wanted to thank me for validating her experience.

Until she read my letter to her husband, he thought she was making stuff up. I mean come on: that sweet grandma, devoting her life to a children’s charity — a bully? No way!

She quit after we spoke and, following my recommendations, she also received all her benefits. I also told her:

Tool #4: After leaving a serious bullying situation, take some time to heal!

number 4THIS IS IMPORTANT! Recovery from bullying takes time. Just switching jobs without getting emotionally grounded could be a recipe for disaster. Having worked as a crisis counsellor, I can tell you that there is nothing brave about ignoring your mental health.Don’t play with fire — put some emotional distance, catch your breath and heal. Do not wait for a diagnosis of a burnout, depression or anxiety disorder. You’ll transition better into a new job and increase your future successes.

Tool #5:  Helping others can empower you.

number 5The last time I was bullied at a job, I was very capable of protecting my well-being and helping other targets. Although I am no longer there, I know that I made a difference for my colleagues by supporting and guiding them. I was able to stay calm while properly alerting her superiors to her specific behaviours.

I eventually left for greener pastures, but even after I left she couldn’t burp without the hierarchy taking notice. Eventually she left and my old colleagues remain beyond thrilled.

Article by Monique Caissie ~ Educational Speaker, Consultant and Executive Coach ~ April 13, 2016


Check out this New B.P Extra

This Cork duo’s anti-bullying song will touch your heart

Bantry singer and special needs assistant Claire Hayden is determined to raise awareness of the effect bullying has on children. So, Claire composed a song and recorded it along with 15-year-old student Becky Phillips.

The result is an online hit with 7,000 views on Youtube and counting in just over two weeks and 20,000 on other media. The lyrics portray a young girl tormented by bullying and a mother desperate to help, with Claire and Becky’s voices intertwining beautifully. The pair hope the song will be picked up by a charity and raise some cash for good causes.

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5 Compelling Reasons To Leave Your Horrible Boss

3 Proven Practices To Counteract Second-Hand Negativity

People worldwide rock pink clothing to bring awareness to bullying and discrimination

Thinking pink to end bullying


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Workplace bullying focus of court case

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Mitchell addressed the issue of costs with criticism directed at lawyers and what he said has become a disturbing trend in the profession that leaves the courts accessible only to people who can AFFORD IT!  “This is a concern not just for the profession but for society as well,” he wrote.

(currently leads to corruption, didn’t I hear the above statement somewhere before) 

5459a4424897349b8adab05da9a1d428A family’s claim that workplace bullying led to Eric Donovan‘s fatal heart attack will proceed through the courts after a successful appeal of the case’s dismissal.

Donovan worked at Queen’s County Residential Services, which is an organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities.

In 2013 he suffered a work-related back injury and about a month later he had a heart attack, Donovan died fewer than two weeks later.

peiHis widow and two children allege workplace bullying caused Donovan stress, anxiety and fear, which led to his fatal heart attack.

Those allegations include that hostile and demeaning statements were made about his work performance, he was forced to work extra hours and he was forced to do unsafe workunif

Queens County Residential Services and Donovan’s supervisor, Nadine Hendriken, are named in the lawsuit that claims damages for losses the family suffered after Donovan‘s death.

The P.E.I. Court of Appeal heard the case after a lower court dismissed the claim saying it didn’t have jurisdiction over the matter.

In a unanimous decision, Justice John Mitchell disagreed judge-smiley-emoticonwith the lower court and overturned the dismissal along with an order for costs against the Donovan family.

Mitchell said lawyers should zero in on the issues on which a case will turn and not over prepare.

“One does not need to build a battleship to do the job of a dingy,” he wrote.

Mitchell also targeted the provincial government, saying it was making the problem worse by taxing legal services, adding fees for court services and increasing old fees.

12549judge_001The tax on legal services is not a tax on lawyers, Mitchell said, and noted $11,731 was paid in HST by one side in this case.

“Access to justice should be the right of every citizen and not turned into a profit centre by the government.”

Mitchell awarded more than $5,000 in costs. SMILEY20DELIVERY

Article by Ryan Ross ~ Published on February 02, 2016

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2016 Wake Up Profitable Boot Camp for Business Owners

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Workplace Bullying (The Living Poison)

UN UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Interviewed by DPI
Zeid RaÕad Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is Interviewed by DPI

923004_10151331384711890_1479766938_n20f9964ea1707dee2444c26e68ec775aAs the week progresses I find that my injury is much better today and continues to heal nicely, this sort of sprain should not had happened if I were under the supervision of an ethical management team, a team with leadership abilities, unfortunately I am not. After just over one year with this company I have come to the reality that this will not ever change, a poison company does not start out as such rather the poison is spread over time throughout the company starting in the ranks of management trickling down through the ranks of employee’s creating a poison environment right across the board.


Throughout and over the course of the last 12 years, 2004 to present day how the mobbing started was through “Bribery” which I have witnessed several times from SunGard to Easyhome, whereby a manager or employee has been given money or through vehicle purchases as payment to single out and target an employee(s) which has become a growing problem in Canada and around the world, “Would you trust an employee known to take a bribe?


e0e65bf6e7b87ab2a948e59a65c9ff69If we continue to turn a blind eye and look away, future generations will find hardship and difficulty in reaching a productive and fulfilling life, so are you concerned about your future and your children’s future?, maybe you don’t care because it don’t directly affect you in the present moment but mark my words as the media show that Mental illness is becoming more and more visible in today’s society only to become a greater strain on future generations.


We are talking about a silent war lead by greed and the power to obtain it, but don’t take my word for it after all it’s your world now, I am just waiting for my number to come up. 

UN News Centre: What are the biggest challenges ahead in 2016 for human rights?

Article by Terry.K ~ posted January 20, 2016 

the-silent=killers


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Unethical public sector behaviour: there’s an app for that!

ethicos

A smartphone app designed to be used to confront bad behaviour and dodgy ethics in the workplace 5bffa15e76893ea4c1a195f63963e6fc6dcdfc193992012will be released later this year.

61e707c68ea519c6d51237b14d9cf7efGovernment News spoke to Howard Whitton from Brisbane company Ethicos, which is behind the app, about how it can be used to ensure public servants are more ethical, knowledgeable and better behaved.

One of the big selling points of the Ethicos app is an issue-specific Fairness Toolkit of short animations based on real-life scenarios and covering areas such as workplace bullying, sexual harassment, conflict of interest, fraud, identity theft, misconduct and abuse of office.

Mr Whitton and his Ethicos Group colleagues, most of whom have been specialising in ethics and integrity in Australia’s State and federal public services for over two decades, says each of the scenarios is designed to present “a short slice of life in a realistic way.”

“We aim to keep people out of trouble and institutions out of court,” Mr Whitton says. “We talk about “show and ask”. Our scenarios test whether an individual is able to identify ethical problems correctly, so that organisations and employees can assess their risks and strengths and target ethics training to individuals.”

Animations get to the heart of the issue, without employees wading through 400 pages of the Code of Conduct or conflict of interest guidelines, he says.

For example, one scenario deals with workplace bullying, gender discrimination and exclusion.

Carmel’s colleague Clinton is constantly putting down, trashing her ideas, excluding her from meetings and patronisingly calling her ‘dear old thing’.

images (2)When Carmel informs her boss about Clinton’s behaviour he brushes her aside, telling her to “settle down.”

The boss says: “It’s probably your hormones. You’re just depressed. There’s no time for this now, Carmel, ok?”

The most commonly requested videos by corporations are about workplace bullying, sexual harassment, conflict of interest and misconduct. There are also requests for information on conducting workplace investigations and whistleblowing.

Mr Whitton says local councils could also benefit from the app, particularly where council officers are being told by mayors or councillors to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

smiling-emoticon-giving-thumbs-up“Often the mayor or councillor doesn’t understand what they’re asking and it’s really difficult for local government officers to say “no, you can’t do that,” Mr Whitton says. “They’re increasingly concerned about being pulled up by ICAC.”

Tertiary education providers have shown a keen interest in the app too, particularly as more problems come to light around fudging research results, grant fraud, the sexual harassment of female academics, workplace bullying and plagiarism.

Universities have told us that workplace bullying is a problem. Some have also said, “we have a problem getting academics to understand conflict of interest, especially in research.”

Some videos are specially tailored to particular organisations. For example, Emergency Services want videos to depict familiar characters in specific uniforms and using realistic language and situations.

The app can also be downloaded by individuals facing difficult situations at work and can give advice on how to deal with a situation and who to talk to.

But about three-quarters of people who watched the videos failed to recognise all the ethics breaches that they are watching.

eating-popcorn-smiley-emoticonAsked why he thought the number was so high, Mr Whitton replies: “because these days they’re not trained. People only see what they have been trained to see in a relevant context.”

“In the last ten years ethics training has been pretty much non-existent.,” he says. “There was a flurry in the nineties to do Code of Conduct training which we were part of but we know that there’s a huge gap between people knowing what’s in the code of conduct training and actually recognising a problematic situation when it happens in front of them.

“If you expect people in any walk of life to play by the rules then they have to be told what the rules are, and broadly speaking, we don’t do that anymore. We talk about ‘Values’ instead.”

He said the Victorian state public service generally did a better job on ethics training than anybody else in the country.

The app costs around $10 per person per year for a medium-sized company or government agency.


Article by Marie Sansom on November 9, 2015


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Is your business being stifled by fear?

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SmileyWorkReportsASAP‘Human systems, just like all systems in the world, are energy systems. The way energy is managed throughout the body and the brain has a profound effect on behavior.

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A new book that explores the neuroscience of the workplace and the crippling effect of fear is sure to strike a particular chord with some LGBT employees


sleeping-in-classBookstores are over-stocked with tomes on leadership and success in business, but a new publication is one of the first to concentrate on the crippling effects of fear in the workplace.
The Fear-Free Organization – Vital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture is by Dr Paul Brown, Joan Kingsley and Dr Sue Patterson. It offers a convincing argument as to why provoking fear in employees is likely to stifle productivity and lead to a depressed and demoralized workforce.

The book draws upon real-life business stories and the latest research into neuroscience.

If ‘neuroscience’ sounds dry and academic, the The Fear-Free Organization is anything but. It’s a readable, accessible work that compares organizations to the human mind.

In the same way that fear will trigger a ‘fight or flight’ response in humans, fear at work will provoke similar survival tactics among employees; Instead of working on creative solutions to problems, staff will instead concentrate on coming up with excuses for missed deadlines and covering their own backs.

office-desk-emoticonWhat sort of fear is common at work? The fear of not hitting targets; the fear of not knowing what management are doing; the fear of being thought a slacker; the fear of losing your job or status, or treated unfairly; the fear of the business going bust; the list goes on and on.

Fear in the workplace can lead to bullying, gossip, undermining behavior, hijacking tactics, behind-doors jockeying for status and favoritism. Such behaviors will inevitably have an effect on the health and emotional well-being of staff.

If that sound familiar then you could be working in work environment where fear is running rampant.

As the book explains: ‘Fear-based cultures foster short-term thinking: you become defensive, seek to avoid confrontation or reprisal and focus on eliminating any threats instead of working together to deliver shared targets and outcomes.’

So what’s the antidote?

businessman-smileyNeuroscience informs us that feelings can be broken down into eight basic categories: fear, anger, disgust, shame, sadness and surprise prepare us to deal with danger, while on the flipside of the coin, excitement/joy and trust/love provoke attachment and growth.

Eliminating fear in the workplace requires companies generating excitement, joy, trust and love in staff. Chief among these is trust.

Although The Fear-Free Organization briefly touches upon the value of encouraging diversity at work and the business advantage of having a diverse workforce, it doesn’t, unfortunately, specifically address the fear that many LGBT people may feel at work around revealing their sexuality.

According to research by Human Rights Campaign, just over half (53%) of LGBT people in the US continue to hide who they are at work. They instead use precious energy avoiding questions about their personal life and making sure that their ‘secret’ is not revealed.

Not surprisingly, the cost to individuals in terms of happiness, security and productivity can be immense.

Approached by Gay Star Business, one of the Fear-Free Organization’s authors agrees.

work-school‘Fear is likely to be pervading your internal world if you are working in an environment where you can’t be yourself,’ says Joan Kingsley, a Consultant Clinical and Organizational Psychotherapist.

‘It is difficult to be productive and creative at work if you have to play a role and pretend to be someone you’re not. That takes a fair amount of energy that could be put to better use.

Or, as LGBT advocacy groups, Stonewall, sums it up; People perform between then they can be themselves.


Want to create a fear-free environment at work? The Fear-Free Organization offers several recommendations. Some of the chief ones are as follows:

  • Leaders are responsible for creating the climate, culture and mood within which others will either flourish or fail. They provide a sense of excitement and purpose to the organization.
  • The most important emotion to motivate people in organizations is trust; trust that they are being kept aware of what’s going on and trust in the belief that they will be treated fairly. Fear-free organizations are underpinned by honesty, openness and trust.
  • Individuals should feel welcomed and respected at work; respected as individuals who can make honest mistakes and can expect support for recovering from those mistakes. Growth, after all, comes about through trial and error.
  • People respond to certainty; when there are clear expectations, clarity and commitment to what is expected. Leaders set an organization’s direction and goals – which need to be clearly conveyed throughout the organization.

smileyfacewithcomputer_000But won’t people always feel some degree of fear at work – particulary during tough economic times?

Kingsley says that although fear is ‘hard-wired’ into our brains, and serves a vital purpose when it comes to helping us avoid danger, creating a fear-free organization remains a realistic goal.

‘The fear-free organization is built on relationships of trust. It has zero tolerance for using fear to manage and motivate.

No organization can predict the dangers and disasters that inevitably happen in the external world. However, the fear-free organization creates an environment that fosters trust amongst colleagues.

‘It creates an environment where people are working together to effectively respond to challenges presented by external competition.’

smiley-face-thumbs-up-thank-you-nice-day-thumbs-up-smiley-emoticonThe Fear-Free OrganizationVital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture, by Paul Brown, Joan Kingsley and Sue Patterson, is out now via KoganPage.


Article by David Hudson – 13 August 2015


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🇨🇦 Love My Haters Prayer

goodvsatan“And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God.” — Les Miserables 

To My Enemies who are really My Friends but don’t know it Yet.bible studes

I love my haters, I send kisses of mercy to all my haters. I bless those who’ve have to curse meI forgive those who’ve wronged me. I ask for forgiveness to those whom I may have wrongedTo those who’ve rejected my gifts I declare the abundance of gifts to you.

I am going to be so outrageously and contagiously blessed that we are going to be blessed as well! Thank you!

I release the revelation of God’s securing love upon those who are jealous of or intimidated by me. I speak long life to my enemies that they live long enough to see me fulfill my God-ordained destiny.

To all those who’ve put time in to destructively criticize me and ruin my reputation, I say thank you thank you and thank you again for the free advertisement.

To those who thought I was perfect, well, sorry to disappoint you, but you’re not either. I pledge to not hold you to a standard that I can’t live myself.

For all the hard labor, covert press releases, and tireless hours of deformation of character; I say God’s blessings of purity, prosperity, and longevity be yours.

To those who are loquacious and pretentious towards me, you get the credit for driving me to the Lord.

303127_10151286533221890_281583574_nI will exceed the opinions and expectations of others including my own, because my expectations now, are of Him, not them. I choose to walk in love with the unloving. I choose to surpass the past. I am determined to not allow the devil, myself, or anyone else, to hold me hostage to my past.

For all those who’ve prophe-lied concerning me, May God bless you to get it right the next time; because what you meant for my evil, God designed for my good! I release this with the love God gave to me. Amen….and the winner is LOVE! 

This Blog post came my way a couple of years ago, I often wondered why I shared it, until now, as it does not represent my exact words but it’s close enough. Terry.K

Courtesy of Pure Glory originally posted Oct 06, 2013

 

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Human rights and workplace bullying: in a word: “unacceptable”

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Stewart McKelvey

Canada May 26 2015

6i3zxbkmA May 2015 British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal awarded $15,000 in damages for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect to a former employee who alleged hurtful, frequent and unprovoked comments by his employer, in front of customers and co-workers, that left him feeling “very depressed and suicidal”. The full decision can be accessed by clicking on the following link, Garneau v. Buy-Rite Foods, Shingara Sumal, Sutej Sumal and Inder Sumal (2015 BCHRT 77 (CanLII)).

What happened?

doctor-with-stethoscope-smiley-emoticonMr. Garneau suffered from a birth defect that affected him both mentally and physically and also manifested in his physical appearance and weight. He disclosed this disability to the employer when it assumed ownership of the store in 2008. Mr. Garneau had worked at the store since 2001. Mr. Garneau was also gay, but was not public about his sexuality. He testified that the new owners called him “faggot”, “idiot”, “retard”, “fucking stupid”, “fatty” and that he was harassed and constantly asked “are you gay, are you gay, are you gay”? In addition, Mr. Garneau testified that he was physically assaulted by another employee, and had personal property damaged and stolen.

What did the Tribunal say?

reading6gifThe Tribunal found that Mr. Garneau established that he has both a mental and physical disability and that the employer as aware of this. Mr. Garneau also established that the employer perceived him to be gay. The Tribunal said:

I accept Mr. Garneau’s testimony that he was bullied, harassed, assaulted, and discriminated against by the Sumals and find that such treatment had significant deleterious effects. His self-esteem was affected; he testified to feeling depressed and suicidal; he found the constant name-calling, in front of customers and co-workers, hurtful and offensive. These slurs, exacerbated by the physical assaults and threats, had a profound impact; it made him powerless and, as he testified, to feel less than human. His repeated requests to the Sumals to desist was mocked and ignored; they were apparently oblivious, willfully ignorant, and/or indifferent to the impact of their behaviour upon Mr. Garneau.

In all instances – mental disability, physical disability, and sexual orientation – I find Mr. Garneau’s characteristics are protected from discrimination. It is apparent that the Sumals had little regard for Mr. Garneau and undoubtedly saw him as someone who could be mistreated with impunity. I find this treatment to have affected him profoundly and adversely.

What does this mean for employers?

16515888-emoticon-smiley-thinking-smiley-face-cartoonThe nature of the harassment in this case went “beyond the pale” and was “egregious”. The decision is a serious reminder to all employers that workplace harassment based on human rights protected characteristics is not acceptable. Employers must have policies and training in place to ensure that all parties in the workplace understand human rights and what types of behaviour is unacceptable at the workplace.


Article By Lexology & Stewart McKelvey – Lisa Gallivan and Alison Strachan


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Workplace bullying can be defeated by bold and decisive leaders

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If you have experienced or witnessed bullying in the workplace you are probably aware of the devastating impact that verbal and psy­chological abuse can have

All too often I meet people whose health, wellbeing, engagement or job performance have been affected by the behaviour of bullies. It is equally common to encounter people who are able to share stories of family or friends being subjected to extraordinarily unfair and inappropriate treatment at work. Driving bullying from our workplaces will happen when we all make it a priority. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a healthy and safe work environment, but creating a bullying-free workplace involves everyone doing their part. Leaders play an especially important role, however, in setting the standard and holding people accountable.

Here are six things every manager needs to know about dealing with bullying:

  • 10854667-3d-man-holding-two-smileys-Stock-Photo-man-sad-emotionsA respectful culture is the key to prevention. Demonstrate and inspire respect, kindness and sensitivity. Expect every member of your team to act with compassion and give reasonable consideration to how others feel. Reward and recognise people who demonstrate sincere regard for their colleagues and the desire to support everyone to succeed.
  • Culture starts from the top. A leader’s behaviour sets the tone for the conduct of others. Lead by example: behave respectfully and demonstrate that bullying is never tolerated. Set a high standard to hold yourself and others accountable. Exhibit the behaviours you want from others through your decisions and actions.
  • Action is necessary. Meeting your obligation to provide a healthy and safe work environment requires that you take proactive steps to protect not only your team’s physical safety but also its psychological wellbeing. Complaints of bullying must be investigated thoroughly and impartially. Appropriate outcomes need to be applied.
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  • Consequences are essential. Regardless of the position anyone holds in terms of power or influence, no one should be allowed to bully anyone else. It takes ­discipline and a consistent approach to applying a zero-tolerance policy to drive bullying from an organisation’s culture. If an ­investigation concludes that a member of your team is guilty of bullying, appropriate con­sequences must follow through disciplinary action.
  • Acting early matters. It can be tempting to sit back and hope the issue will take care of itself. However, unless the bully leaves your business, that is unlikely. Take steps to address the issue as soon as you become aware of it; at times you’ll be able to nip brewing issues in the bud. Be responsive and quick to investigate complaints. Avoid the tendency some man­agers have to dismiss those perceived as coming from overly sensitive people.

smiliebunchTough love can work. Honesty delivered with respect is critical to building awareness and influencing the behaviour of a bully. Expect bullies to demonstrate greater regard for others and the ability to regulate their conduct to stay with your business. Ensure they clearly understand what behaviours are required of them and the consequences of inappropriate conduct. Balance this firm approach with compassion and sensitivity. Express confidence in their ability to change and ensure the support will be provided to them.


ARTICLE BY KAREN GATELY THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 16, 2015 Karen Gately is a leadership and people-management specialist and a founder of Ryan Gately; http://www.karengately.com.au.


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