Occupational stress or bullying at work can cause injury.
In the workplace, bullying can carried out by a manager, co-worker or subordinate. Bullying can be a one-off physical assault or a series of assaults. More usually, it is an accumulation, over a long period of time, of many “minor” incidents. These are typically so minor in themselves that they do not provide grounds for a grievance or disciplinary action.
The following type of activities can constitute bullying:
- constant nit picking, fault finding and criticism of a trivial nature. Triviality, regularity and frequency betray bullying. Often there is a grain of truth in the criticism which can fool people into believing the criticism has validity, which it does not; often, the criticism can be based on distortion, misrepresentation or fabrication.
- a constant refusal to acknowledge contributions and achievements or to recognise a workers existence and value.
- constant attempts to undermine position, status, worth, value and potential.
- being singled out and treated differently
- being isolated and separated from colleagues, excluded from what is going on, marginalised, overruled, ignored or frozen out
- being belittled, demeaned and patronised, especially in front of others
- being overloaded with work , or having your work taken away and replaced either with menial tasks or with no work at all
- finding that work – and the credit for it – is stolen and plagiarised
- having responsibility increased but authority taken away
- having annual leave, sickness leave and – especially – compassionate leave refused
- being denied the training necessary to fulfil duties
- finding actions are distorted or mis-represented
- being subjected to disciplinary procedures for trivial or fabricated reasons and without proper investigation
- being coerced into leaving
What symptoms can bullying and stress cause?
- constant high levels of stress and anxiety
- frequent illness such as viral infections (stress can affect your immune system)
- aches and pains with no obvious cause also back pain which won’t go away or respond to treatment
- headaches and migraines
- tiredness, exhaustion, constant fatigue
- sleeplessness, nightmares, waking early, waking up tired
- flashbacks and replays, obsessiveness
- irritable bowel syndrome
- skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, ulcers, shingles, urticaria
- poor concentration
- bad or intermittently-functioning memory, forgetfulness
- sweating, trembling, shaking, palpitations or panic attacks
- tearfulness, bursting into tears over trivial things
- uncharacteristic irritability and angry outbursts
- hyper-vigilance (which may feel like but is not paranoia)
- being constantly on edge
- hypersensitivity, fragility, isolation, withdrawal
- reactive depression, lethargy, hopelessness, anger, or futility
- low self-confidence, low self-worth and self-esteem