Thinking about mental health? You should be

29.11.2022

When you think about Health & Safety what springs to mind?

It’s probably a safe working environment – handrails, hazard signs and how to use machinery. But how often do we give mental health a thought?

Let’s look at some stats. Mental health affects people in all industries. A report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that in 2020/21, more than 800,000 people suffered from work-related stress, depression, or anxiety. And a recent Deloitte survey found that 28% of employees have either left in 2021 or are planning to leave their jobs in 2022, with 61% citing poor mental health as the reason they are leaving.

So why then are employees still three times more likely to discuss common physical ailments than mental health issues? Clearly, there’s work to be done. We all need to champion mental health and not only do employers have a legal responsibility to their employees but paying attention to mental health pays.

So, if mental health isn’t on your mind, it should be.

Let’s get physical for a minute

Mental ill health puts workplace at risk. If an employee is experiencing a mental health problem, it puts their physical safety and those around them at risk. Obviously not good in any industry, but what about industries that are already high-risk? The construction industry is one of the most high-risk industries, but it’s also got some of the worst rates of mental health. Men in the construction industry are three times more likely to die from suicide than the national average for men.

Stress, depression, and anxiety can lead to a lack of sleep, slower reactions and a lack of focus. Now imagine this in the workplace, particularly if employees are working from height or operating heavy machinery – a scary thought. Poor mental health can make your employees much more vulnerable to accidents and injuries but are you doing anything about it? You provide hard hats and PPE to protect your workers physically, and rightly so, but what about protecting the hidden danger, their mental health?

Money on the mind

Supporting mental health in the workplace isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing too. It’s in your business’ best interest. New mental health research from Deloitte revealed the total cost of poor mental health to employers has increased by 25% since 2019, costing UK employers up to £56 billion a year!

Want to empower your people to do their best work? Take care of their wellbeing.  Not only will it reduce absenteeism and improve morale, but it will also improve employee engagement and productivity. And according to Deloitte, for every £1 spent on employee wellbeing, employers make £5.30 back. Sounds like an investment worth making, right?

And according to the charity Mind, more than half of employers say they would like to do more to improve staff wellbeing but don’t feel they have the right training or guidance. What if there was a best practice tool you could use to guide you? Now there is.

Set the standard with ISO 45003

ISO 45003 is more than a number – it’s here to make a difference. ISO 45003 is the world’s first International Standard to address psychological health and wellbeing in the workplace. A best practice framework developed by experts around the world to help organisations of all sizes and from all sectors, identify and manage psychosocial risks to their workers, focusing on the mental health and wellbeing side of Health & Safety.

The standard builds on ISO 45001’s focus on managing Health & Safety risks in the workplace with an Occupational Health & Safety management system. And the great thing is ISO 45003 can be easily combined with ISO 45001 so you can identify physical and psychological health risks to your employees at the same time with one system.

ISO 45003 shows leadership commitment to employee health and wellbeing and emphasises the need for promoting and protecting psychological (not just physical) health in the workplace.

With ISO 45003 you can show that you really do prioritise the mental health of your employees, protect your people, cut absenteeism, boost productivity, enhance the reputation of your company and save money.

When the returns are that good, why wouldn’t you do everything you can to support your employees mental and physical health?

 

If you’d like to find out more about ISO 45003, get in touch today – call 0333 344 3646 or email sales@qmsuk.com.

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About the author

  • Name:

    Michelle Whitehouse

  • Company:

    Brand and Content Marketing Manager

  • Bio:

    Michelle joined QMS in 2012. Having held several different roles across the business, she uses the insight and experience gained to shape and drive the brand and content marketing strategy. Managing a small team; she ensures that the customer is at the forefront of everything we do. Delivering event programmes and communication strategies that pack value into the overarching experience for both new and existing customers, Michelle is an innovative thinker that believes in offering services that add real value to people’s lives. With a background in sales, digital marketing, content strategy and marketing communications, Michelle takes an in-depth, hands-on approach to her role within the business and is passionate about developing the relationship that exists between the brand and customers through a combination of technology and communication.

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