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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
October 23, 2008

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Sick-leave connection to premature death

People who take long-term sickness absence are at a greater risk of early death than healthier employees, a new study concludes.

Researchers from the University College London assessed sickness records for 6500 Whitehall civil servants from 1985 to 1988, and compared them with participants’ mortality data up to 2004. Overall, 288 people died during the study’s timeframe.

Almost 30 per cent of participants who had a spell of more than seven days off work for sickness over a three-year period had a 66-per-cent increased risk of premature death. Employees who had one or more spells of absence for psychiatric reasons were more than twice as likely to die from cancer.

Publishing their findings in the British Medical Journal, the researchers said they did not think sick leave itself was a risk but was more likely a marker of other health problems. They concluded that better monitoring of diagnosis-specific absences at population levels could help identify, and then target, groups at increased health risk.

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.

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