World briefs

Injuries at home hurt at work • Napping as a right • Fail the taste test, you’re gone • Colour me productive
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|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/29/2003

Injuries at home hurt at work

Wilkesboro, N.C.

— “Off-the-clock” injuries — those occurring at home — are taking a big bite out of many bottom-lines, according to a recent study. American firms are spending an average of $376 Cdn per employee to help pay for injuries employees and their dependents suffer at home. This results in an annual $51 billion financial burden to U.S. employers, almost double the $26.2 billion employers endure for “off-the-clock” highway injuries.

Napping as a right

Lisbon

— Labour codes should be changed to accommodate afternoon naps for workers, according to Portuguese member of parliament, Jose Miguel. “It is a tradition of our Mediterranean culture,” he said. His organization, the Portuguese Association for Friends of Napping, has launched a nation-wide campaign to promote napping and resist the trend toward shorter lunch breaks.

Fail the taste test, you’re gone

Sylmar, Calif.

— An employee of Coca Cola says he was fired for drinking a Diet Pepsi. Rick Bronson had been lobbying workers who deliver Coke products to stores to vote in favour of Teamsters membership and he says two workers who weren’t union supporters turned him in for having a Diet Pepsi. Coke would not comment on the charge but said the company has a strict policy against retaliation.

Colour me productive

London

— More than two-thirds of managers who took part in a study by British colour psychologist David Lewis said the colours in their offices are too drab and dismal to be inspiring. The colour blue is most likely to improve people’s moods and improve mental functioning, while red increases tension and mental agitation, and raises heart rates and blood pressure. When subjects were asked to tackle problems in their favourite coloured light, performance improved by an average of 10 per cent. “It’s not that being surrounded by your favourite colour makes you brighter, but as the study shows, it puts you in a far more positive and relaxed state of mind,” said Lewis.

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