Week Commencing 07/11/2022 – In The News

BOHS launches workplace health guide

Two young business professionals at workThe British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), a leading scientific charity and the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, has released a handy outline of how companies and organisations can link their worker health protection standards directly to sustainable development goals.

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have become the global benchmarks which many of the worlds most influential organisations see as the objectives that we need to realise to have a sustainable future. Many companies worldwide have signed up to the United Nations Global Compact, while many more see Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) as critical success factors, reportable to Boards. SMEs, who have championed sustainability have also pushed the boundaries. A “healthy working environment” was recently added to the list of global fundamental rights for people who work by the International Labour Organisation.

BOHS has published a simple guidance for companies and organisations to be able to track their initiatives in protecting workplace health directly to the 17 goals. It is working closely with the British Standards Institute and the Council for Work and Health to develop this further to help workplaces celebrate and promote health at work as a crucial lever of sustainability.

Learn more on the HSM website.

ISMA UK joins HSE’s Working Minds campaign

Stressed woman sat at a laptopThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has added the International Stress Management Association (ISMAUK) as its latest partner on the Working Minds campaign.

Working Minds was launched by HSE last year and is aimed specifically at supporting small businesses by providing employers and workers with easy to implement advice and tools to help them recognise and respond to the signs and causes of stress and support better mental health in the workplace.

Stress, anxiety and depression are the number one reasons for work-related illness in the UK. Statistics published by HSE, covering the 2020/21 period, show that, of the 1.7 million workers suffering from a work-related illness, almost half (822,000) was due to stress, depression or anxiety.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, the law requires all employers to carry out a stress risk assessment and act upon the findings to prevent work related stress and support good mental health in the workplace.

Together with partners such as ISMAUK, HSE invites business and organisations across the nation to support its campaign and become Working Minds Champions to help raise awareness and drive change.

Read more on the HSE website.

Nearly a third of employers have no plans to offer fertility support, report finds

Positive pregnancy testThirty-one percent of employers have no plans to offer fertility support, according to new research undertaken during September 2022 by digital health app Peppy.

Peppy believes this approach may have a detrimental impact on an employer’s ability to both attract and retain staff of child-bearing age, as well as reflect poorly on their overall brand.

Conversely, 39% of employers have either always had employee benefits in place that support staff with their reproductive health, or have put them in place in the past 12 months, but that leaves a significant number of employees without adequate support for their fertility journey now.

Francesca Steyn, Director of Fertility & Women’s Health Services of Peppy said, “Up until recently, there has been very little support available for employers to offer people on a fertility journey but when one in six people in the UK2 are affected it’s very much needed. Employers need to recognise that they must be on the front foot when it comes to supporting employees in this area.”

Workplace fertility support can cover many areas, including IVF, family planning and adoption through to conditions such as endometriosis that can affect fertility.

For more on the research, visit the SHP website.

Warehouse slips and trips hazards revealed

Wet floor signOver a quarter (26%) of warehouse workers have been impacted by slips, trips and falls in the past year, according to new research from Watco.

The survey of 250 facilities management professionals also revealed that almost half (42%) felt that wet and slippery surfaces, damaged floors and a lack of general maintenance pose the largest risk to the health and safety of employees at their site.

Sometimes a slip or trip can be relatively minor, but occasionally they can cause serious accidents and lead to costly claims. In fact, from 2017/18–2019/20, an estimated 971,000 working days were lost due to slip, trip and fall injuries in the UK, according to Health and Safety Executive statistics.

As winter approaches and it becomes prime time for slips, trips and falls, Scott Saunders, technical service manager at Watco shares his insights on how to prevent such hazards: “Whether you are in your workplace or at home, when the weather changes and suddenly snow, ice and rain gets traipsed around from outside, hazards become more common. But there are multiple ways businesses can ensure they are protecting employees.”

Learn more about the survey on the HSM website.

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