October is National Safe Work Month – a time to commit to building and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. The workplace is an integral part of our lives, but it’s easy to forget that it can also be one of the most dangerous places we spend time. Every year, millions of workers experience a workplace accident or illness that interferes with their ability to work and live at home. However, there are things you can do to improve your mental health at work and help prevent accidents and illnesses.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s an important factor in workplace safety, and if you aren’t getting the support you need, it could lead to accidents or mistakes. Mental health isn’t just about being happy; it’s about your mental well-being and how that affects your productivity and efficiency at work. At Helia EHS, we create an environment for our employees (and our business partners) to feel comfortable in speaking up about any issues they may have. Knowing that Helia EHS is there to assist them if needed is integral to supporting the mental health of our workforce.
You probably know someone who has experienced a mental health problem like depression, anxiety or stress. But did you know that around one in four people experience a problem at some point in their lives? Or that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50? It’s time to talk about mental health more openly so we can all start feeling supported at work and home.
Gone are the days when something occurring outside of work is needed to be kept from work. With so many blurred lines and different working environments, we encourage our team to keep us updated on anything happening outside work that may affect their ability to work effectively. We’re all human and having a support system in place at your workplace can make all the difference!
Psychosocial hazards in the workplace can affect our physical wellbeing as well as our psychological wellbeing. Workplace stress alone costs the Australian economy $14.81 billion a year. On average, 3.2 days per worker are lost each year through workplace stress.
This societal cost is largely the result of the effects of stress on our physical and psychological wellbeing. Stress can lead to a host of problems including anxiety, depression, burnout and even physical health issues like heart disease or diabetes — all leading to an increased risk of reduced life expectancy for those affected by it.
Helia EHS works to ensure that our projects our resourced and scheduled appropriately so our team do not feel overwhelmed or stressed by the workload. This also ensures our clients and partners receive the best possible results. We have an ‘open door’ policy at Helia EHS which encourages every member of our team to have conversations and catch-ups on topics that may be of concern. We listen and act to support the best possible outcomes for our team and our projects.
In addition, Helia EHS funds an Helia EHS Social Club for our staff which includes activities from sport to cooking to movies outside of the office that everyone can voluntarily participate in. This creates camaraderie between our team members and helps us engage on a human level outside of the workplace.
It’s important to understand the costs of accidents, both in social and economic terms. In terms of financial cost, according to research and data released by Safe Work Australia, workplace injuries cost Australian businesses a whopping $61.8 million per year. In addition to these direct costs, there are indirect financial burdens on businesses due to lost productivity. Injuries sustained by employees who are no longer able to manage their role following an accident at work brings its own cost. (e.g., time spent training replacements).
You may have heard the phrase “human error” in the news or in conversation. It’s one of those buzzwords that gets tossed around a lot, but what does it really mean? The simple answer is that human factors are all the things that can lead to workplace injuries and other incidents, such as unsafe work environments.
Human factors affect how we work: how we interact with each other, our tools and equipment, and even our physical environment. They can include things like poor communication between co-workers; training that isn’t adequate for the job; distractions at work (like loud noise); or even stress caused by repetitive tasks performed too often without sufficient breaks between shifts.
Helia EHS offers Occupational Hygiene services where we focus on worker health protection by assessing the risk of hazards and improving work conditions and work practices. We use our scientific knowledge, skills and experience to champion the protection of workers from the hazardous chemicals and other agents they have to work with (as well as other actions/behaviours that may be hazardous to them – e.g. manual handling, confined spaces, etc). Helia EHS prides itself on being part of the pathway to better health outcomes in your workplace.
Our EHS Specialist Services also cover areas of workplace safety including management plans, risk assessments, procedure reviews, policy documents and legal registers.
It’s a simple question, but one that deserves a thoughtful answer.
When you invest in safety, you can:
Staying safe at work is important every day, not just during national safe work month! If you need assistance in reviewing the safety of your workplace, get in touch with our specialist team today at Helia EHS here.