June 20, 2018

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Worker Health

Monitor your workers’ health or pay the price, says HSE

A psychologist at the HSE has urged businesses to monitor the health of their workers, warning that failure to do so could incur future costs.

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Speaking at the Safety and Health Expo, Ed Corbett, Head of Human and Organisation at the HSE’s Science Division, said that some senior health and safety leaders are wary of monitoring workplace health, believing it could be another expense.

“I think there’s a fear of monitoring health, that it’s going to cost the business more.” he explained. “I would argue it would probably cost you more if you don’t look at it.”

Health is the ‘silent’ part

He continued: “Health is the silent part of health and safety. Managers get a lot more of the safety side, but struggle with the health side. They struggle with how people get harmed, they struggle with the fact that it’s not immediate.”

In a discussion Chaired by Matthew Powell-Howard, Qualification Development Manager at NEBOSH, questions were also put to Jane Hopkinson, HSE’s Senior Psychologist, who was asked how best to measure health and safety performance.

“There often tends to be focus on the reactive, numerical indicators,” she said. “Focusing on lost time stats, and accident stats. We would argue if you need that mix of pro-active and reactive measures then you need the qualitative indicators as well.”

Corbett agreed, arguing that those metrics can create “perverse” behaviours in management. “Focusing on things like lost time injuries and lost time injury frequencies can improve on a number without actually improving health and safety,” he warned.

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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