Bringing Health & Wellness Awareness To The Workplace
In 2018/2019, the number of people taking time away from work due to a work-related illness reached 1.4 million, dwarfing the reported 581,000 injuries received at work.
With work-related illnesses overshadowing injuries, employers need to step up to create a safety-first culture in their workplaces. This will not only safeguard against injuries but also help to protect personnel from work-related illnesses which often result in long periods off work, or in some severe cases, even death.
Statistics show that 28.2 million working days were lost during the 2018 / 2019 period due to work-related illness and workplace injury, costing industry an estimated £15 billion.
In terms of cost, workplace illness can be just as devastating as injury, with many chronic conditions leaving employees unable to return to work.
This is another reason why bringing health and wellness awareness to the workplace needs to be a top priority for organisations of all kinds.
From office workers to construction sites, knowing what to be aware of from a health and wellbeing point of view is imperative to bring down the number of workplace illnesses suffered by employees across the entire spectrum of sectors each year.
Here are a few tips on how to create a culture of health and wellbeing which encapsulates all employees and not just those in senior health and safety positions:
Make health and wellbeing everyone’s responsibility
Many businesses suffer from high levels of workplace illness as health and wellbeing is often seen as somebody else’s job.
By changing the company culture to make health and wellbeing a priority for each individual worker, employees feel empowered to speak out when they see anything that could cause a wellness issue.
This could be something as simple as reporting damaged PPE to letting a manager know that certain members of staff are struggling to deal with heavy workloads and are at risk of burnout.
Health and wellbeing as a first priority pays off
Instead of productivity and profit, the key to reducing workplace illness is focusing on making health and wellbeing the number one priority.
Regardless of whether a project needs to come to a stop or the cost involved, all employees should have the message reinforced that nothing comes above their wellbeing. Being proactive about putting health and wellness first is typically a cost and time saver, with workplaces operating more efficiently, with fewer days lost to ill health.
When health and wellbeing is put first, staff feel valued, protected against the potential of illness and are often far more productive at work.
Open up a channel of communication
Many employees feel wary of bringing up health and wellbeing concerns at work, but by creating a health and safety first culture which invites everyone to make recommendations on processes and procedures; this culture trickles down from management level to workers who are just starting out with the company.
Once everyone feels accountable for health and wellbeing at work, this culture starts to pay real dividends in terms of a reduction in workplace illness.