The importance of health and safety in the workplace, and how environment and working methods impact the physical health of staff have long been recognised. A recent report from the British Safety Council clearly highlights that risk assessments and risk control have positively contributed to the reduction in accidents and injuries in the workplace. However, in the context of overall wellbeing, there is a less than cohesive approach, with many firms struggling to understand what measures, in this regard, will make a difference.
The report highlights issues as fundamental as defining what constitutes wellbeing in the workplace.
Determining workplace wellbeing:
The Not Just Free Fruit report indicates that perks such as subsidised membership for the gym or health clubs, in addition to cycle to work schemes, company health insurance and the eponymous free fruit, all positively contribute to the objective of improving employee wellbeing. However, it is imperative that these benefits coexist alongside open dialogues with regard to office relations, fair wages, opportunities for career development and job design. The ACAS report indicates that these are among the core issues to be addressed and that they are integral to wellbeing in the workplace.
The contemporary drivers of mental health report by AON shows that nearly half of all employees are experiencing poor mental health in their present role, currently costing businesses up to £42 billion each year.
In considering occupational health Swindon employers and those in other locations will need to focus upon in the promotion of health and wellbeing services within the workplace.
Psychological and physiological factors
A publication from the journal of occupational and environmental medicine suggests that introducing a six-week programme of gratitude, meditation and yoga had delivered some notable and measurable results, with enhanced satisfaction levels being widely reported. There appeared to be some correlation with physiological changes including improved blood sugar levels and decreased inflammation.
With increasing emphasis now placed upon occupational health Swindon firms and, indeed, firms across the country are beginning to refocus their strategies.
HSE’s Management standards were created almost fifteen years ago to alleviate stress-related conditions including poor health, absenteeism and decreased productivity. With growing recognition of the issues, there is a call to review the content and use of these standards from a number of bodies including ACAS, to better support the ever-changing nature of the modern workplace.