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July 2, 2018

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Occupational Health

New IOSH course tackles the toll of work-related disease

IOSH has developed a new one-day training course to deliver skills to manage occupational health and wellbeing.

Work-related ill health and occupational disease caused almost 26 million lost work days in Britain in 2016/17. In the UK alone sickness absence costs the economy £100 billion each year, £8 billion of that is due to mental ill-health, and presenteeism (working when unfit to do so) is estimated to cost a further £15 billion.

Occupational illnesses can also be fatal. Worldwide, a daily average of around 7,600 deaths are linked to work. Recent research revealed that 86% of these are caused by occupational diseases rather than accidents.

Line managers and supervisors have critical roles in preventing this from happening. At Safety & Health Expo, a new course for managers was launched by IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, to help them to tackle this problem.

IOSH has developed ‘Managing Occupational Health and Wellbeing’ to equip managers with the right knowledge and techniques to recognise health risks and the range of skills needed to manage people with health issues.

IOSH says that looking after workers’ health and wellbeing is now a top priority in the world of work. Going beyond the moral imperative for doing so, it also makes good business sense, as evidenced in the organisation’s recent publication, The Healthy Profit.

Bev Messinger, IOSH Chief Executive, said: “Health, safety and wellbeing should be a priority in every organisation. I’m proud to be part of bringing this course to all business managers, reaching beyond the network of occupational safety and health professionals.

“By equipping all managers with the tools to recognise health and wellbeing risks in their environments and how to deal with them, this course forms part of IOSH’s WORK 2022 strategy to make the world of work a safer place.

“This is such an important part of occupational safety and health today that all IOSH people managers will be undertaking this course.”

IOSH wellebing training occupational health

IOSH launched the training at Safety & Health Expo 2018

Tony Bickerstaff, Chief Financial Officer of British construction and engineering firm Costain, said of the course: “An important part of any manager’s job is looking after the health of their employees. If they can do that I am absolutely sure the employees will perform better, their teams will perform better, and so businesses will perform better.

“There are a lot of people talking about health and wellbeing in the workplace, but I think some businesses are struggling with how they go about addressing it. I think the position of this course, to help line-managers gain competence in this area, has got to be a good thing for them and a good thing for their companies.”

The financial cost to business and the devastating emotional cost to friends and families of work-related illnesses is huge.

An Opinium survey of leaders of medium-sized businesses for IOSH in 2017 found 40% said sickness absence had had a significant, detrimental impact on their organisation’s productivity in the last five years.

The one-day course is delivered by a network of IOSH approved training providers. The course is for anyone who manages activities of employees and covers four key areas:

  1. A healthy company – what it means to commit to the health of the workforce.
  2. Health risk management – how to protect the workforce from health risks.
  3. Fitness for work – how to manage the effects of health on work.
  4. Wellbeing – giving information and tools to maintain optimal heath.

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Nigel Evelyn-Dupree
Nigel Evelyn-Dupree
5 years ago

Sooo, just leaves the question of who is going to be identified as the “responsible person” and whether a high level director is going to be appointed to the role of “Director Of Corporate Performance” or whether no one wants to actually take direct responsibility just in case and, that will be left to a committee so, no one person gets the blame ? – haha Across the world of high level international competition in sport Performance managers, under a Director of Performance, have become common place in the oversight of the teams on-going drive to mitigate or eliminate human… Read more »