EXCELLENCE IN HSE COMPLIANCE
The British Safety Council has issued introductory advice on managing two of the most common occupational health risks – work-related stress and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). It also provides some tips on how employers can help workers to make lifestyle choices that improve their overall health and wellbeing – such as by increasing their levels of physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking.
The broad range of occupational health problems and conditions means that employers must carefully assess and then eliminate or control the various health risks their workers may be exposed to. This means considering both traditional physical health hazards – such as exposure to chemicals, noise, vibration and injury risks while lifting and handling loads – and issues that can affect workers’ mental wellbeing, such as excessive workloads and poor relationships at work.
According to the guidance:
This section of the guidance highlights the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has potentially had a negative effect on people’s mental wellbeing. For example, workers may be worried about themselves or their loved ones contracting the virus, have fears about their job security and be struggling to balance their work and their childcare commitments. In addition, some workers may ﬁnd working at home an isolating and challenging time, which could affect their stress levels and mental health. Also, as the lockdown is eased and workplaces start to re-open, workers may be fearful of being exposed to the virus, either at work or while travelling to it.
It highlights HSE advice covering workers' concerns about returning to work, which sets out that employers should take steps such as: