How does the ‘Psychological Contract’ relate to dust monitoring?

Have you heard of the ‘psychological contract’? It’s the unwritten understanding of the interaction between you, your workplace environment and your colleagues.  

We all have a psychological contract with our employers, whether we know it or not.

As well as considering the physical aspects of your work environment, your psychological contract includes things like the quality of relationships you have with the people you work with, whether you feel properly listened to and understood and know what’s expected of you in your role. 

An important part of that contract is ‘psychological safety’. How safe or unsafe your psychological contract leaves you feeling at work.  

‘Psychological Safety’

A term coined in 1999 by organisational behavioural scientist, Amy Edmondson, ‘psychological safety’ includes things like trust in your colleagues, your perception of physical threat in your working environment and how you feel about the training and support you get to do your job.  

Unsurprisingly, the safer people feel at work, both physically and emotionally, the more productive they are.  

By the same token, if people feel unsafe, then not only are they less productive, but the time the trouble and expense of having to replace people unhappy in their jobs is huge.  

Employee benefits provider Perkbox estimates that ‘disengaged employees are costing the UK economy £340 billion every year in lost training and recruitment costs, sick days, productivity, creativity and innovation.’ 

So how can you make sure that people in your organisation feel psychologically safe?  

Physical Safety First

The first important step in creating a psychologically safe workplace is to make it as physically safe as possible.  

Speaking with Trolex, Occupational Psychologist Catherine Dobson told us, “If an environment is not physically safe, if it’s too hot, too cold, or if it feels too dangerous people feel stressed. We must ask ourselves how do we get the right environment for people with the right kind of training, the right kind of cooperation to make it healthier? 

Which is what contributes to making our range of dust monitors, such an important development. These include the Air XD Dust Monitor, the XD One Personal Dust Monitor – our wearable dust monitoring technology, and coming soon, our Air XS Silica Monitor for real-time silica dust monitoring. 

Not simply because it protects workers from the physical dangers of inhaling lethal respirable dusts, but because armed with the knowledge that they are working safely, people feel psychologically safer too.  

Catherine explains how: “In relation to silica and dust monitoring. Because the Air XS Silica Monitor is new, there’s scope for demonstrating that it works. And people can see that.  

Also, because all these dust monitors work in real time, it gives people the trust that an intervention will take place should they be in danger. They can trust in the environment being safe.” 

A very good thing for workers on both a physical and emotional level.  

And great news, too, for the mining, tunnelling, quarrying, manufacturing and construction companies invested in fulfilling their side of the psychological contract with advanced dust monitoring. 

Businesses can then reap the rewards of improved production and better worker retention, so everybody wins.