Brain over brawn changes the game for safety pros
Despite last monthâ€™s announcement of 308,000 new U.S. jobs, manufacturing payrolls remained unchanged after 43 months of declines, contrary to the hopes and predictions of economists â€” and those seeking manufacturing jobs, according to an article in The New York Times. As part of a larger trend â€” one long in the making â€” this article claims that the next wave of hiring will be heavy on jobs that rely on people skills and emotional intelligence, and jobs that require imagination and creativity â€” but not necessarily requiring advanced degrees or exceptional artistic talent.
Nurses, lawyers, financial-service sales, designers and hair stylists have seen double-digit jumps in hiring numbers, while jobs requiring formulaic intelligence (secretaries, typists), manual dexterity (lathe operators, sewing-machine operators), and muscle power (garbage collectors, farm workers) have dropped significantly.
As the use of brain power on the job increases and muscle power declines, safety and health pros will confront an array of mental health issues that have received little attention in the past. Job stress and burnout have the potential to become bigger issues, as they have in Europe. Anxiety, depression and sleep disorders â€” all on the rise according to research and surveys â€” could become greater health risks to individuals and their coworkers, if work becomes sloppy or error-prone.