We may just be getting over April Fools’ Day, but when it comes to our workplace, there’s no room for foolin’ around!  Everyone likes to have a little fun during the workday, but it just is not the place for practical jokes.

There’s always one person who loves to devise schemes to get laughs, but usually it is at the expense of someone else.  Jokesters can be a safety hazard at work.  Things can easily get out of control, with someone getting injured, maybe even seriously.  Some practical jokers pull stunts on others that are very dangerous.  Workers can’t concentrate on their job because they are always bracing for the next trick that is going to be played.

Companies should have policies that address hazing, harassment, and horseplay.  They need to instruct employees that these behaviors are unacceptable.  Posters and materials can be used to communicate such policies.  Every work place should have the T.E.A.M. mantra:  Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

Young or new employees should never have tricks played on them; they already have enough pressure just trying to become used to their job duties.  Also, employees shouldn’t be startled or distracted while they are working.  With job loss as high as it is at this time, we all should be working as hard as possible to keep our occupations intact.

According to Texas Workers Compensation Defense Law:
An employee is not covered if injured while intoxicated at the workplace, if injured by another person for personal reasons not related to the job, or if his or her injuries are self-inflicted. An employee also will not be covered if injured during “horseplay” with another employee.

If you are aware that someone is behaving in ways that are unsafe:

  • Take the person aside and explain that you are not comfortable with their conduct.
  • Remind the person that their victims are humiliated, embarrassed, and distrustful of others, and how would he/she feel if they were in their place.
  • Report unsafe or unprofessional behavior to your supervisor.

Remember, you can enjoy work without hurting others, either physically and/or emotionally.