Sunday, May 21, 2017

DocTalk Occupational Health May 17, 2017

Are we doing enough to make the workplace a safe place physically and mentally?

It is really important that employers think about all aspects of safety for employees.

Courtesy of Shutterstock

This week Cheryl Worsama and Jacqueline Jackie Banda discussing health in the work place. Both work for ICAS, and occupational health provider.

Click for the podcast.

Wellbeing at work?
Occupational Health Support?
-need to think how it will save money
-risk assessments are important with occupational health
(effects of health on work)

-violence in the workplace
Physical and emotional (call centres are the worst)

-Breaks or lack of

-instability with changes in management and people you work with

-HR good or…

-smoke free environments

-passive aggressive colleagues

-workplace stress what can we do?

-work/life balance is there hope in the workplace?

Musculoskeletal problems
This term covers any injury, damage or disorder of the joints or tissues and can be exacerbated or caused by workplace tasks4. Problems of this nature include upper and lower limb disorders, repetitive strain injuries, osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. There are several measures you can take to reduce employees’ risk of these disorders5, which include:
  • Make the task and workstation suitable for each worker.
  • Introduce regular breaks to reduce the risk of repetitive injury.
  • If lifting heavy items is part of an employees’ job, ensure they undergo adequate training.

Mental health issues
Creating a supportive working environment for employees makes economic sense; around £2.4 billion is spent annually on employees who leave work because of a mental health problem6. Many people with mental health problems want to work, but they must feel confident that their employer supports them. If one of your employees is off sick due to a mental health issue, be sure to communicate with them regularly and have a flexible system in place that recognises their challenges and needs within the working environment7.

Everyday illness
Colds and flu viruses can spread rapidly through a workplace. Encourage good hygiene with well-placed hand sanitisers, boxes of tissues and a tolerant sickness policy. Encouraging employees to take time off could actually reduce the number of days lost by illness overall8. You might want to consider offering the flu vaccine to staff too, as immunising your employees against the flu is the best insurance against the virus spreading.
Food poisoning is caused by germs, toxins or chemicals in food or drink and it can be contagious. Cross-contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning so keep food preparation areas clean and ensure the communal fridge is cleaned weekly.

The health of a business relies on the health of its employees. Reducing staff sick days means supporting staff when they are sick, encouraging good hygiene and overseeing employees’ physical wellbeing at work. Creating a reassuring, communicative workplace where employees are happy and confident in their employer’s support can have a positive effect on absenteeism.

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