October 26, 2021

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Safety & Health Podcast

‘Work-related suicides should be monitored and regulated’

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we are joined by Sarah Waters, Professor of French Studies at the University of Leeds, to look at a study, published by University of Leeds and Hazards Campaign, which calls on the HSE to monitor, regulate and ultimately prevent workplace suicides.

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Professor Sarah Waters is a specialist on French labour and the French workplace. The report, Work-related suicide: a qualitative analysis of recent cases with recommendations for reforminvestigated 12 suicide cases that occurred between 2015 and 2020 to discover whether they could be attributed to the workplace.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to listen to this interview in full…

The study stems from a Research England-funded study into a selection of suicide cases and found that employee suicides are still largely treated as an individual mental health problem that has no direct relevance to work or the workplace.

Prof Waters says: “The aim of the study was to look very closely at some of the work-related causal factors that might lead to suicide, and to look at some of the causal connections between suicide and work in the UK context.”

To read the full interview with Prof Waters, click here.

Read more from the ‘SHP Meets: Women in Health & Safety’ series…

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Subscribe and tune in the Safety & Health Podcast to discover the latest issues facing the health and safety profession, and stay on-top of the developments affecting your role, from working at height, lone working and common workplace hazards, to safety culture, behaviours, occupational health and mental health and wellbeing.

Last time out, we were joined by Anna Keen, Founding Director at Acre Frameworks, who provides guidance on learning the relevant skills to progress your career, delving into how to present yourself confidently and tips for leaders when dealing with Imposter Syndrome.

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Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
2 years ago

This is filled with trapdoors in regards confidentiality, expense and sensitivity. A lot of assumptions have to be made as to the impact of work-related factors and ‘unknown’ factors (as we will never have the whole picture), and, without trying to sound over-sensitive, I wonder how far this will go without being considered over-reach.

Nigel Dupree
Nigel Dupree
2 years ago
Reply to  Joe Bloggs

Collecting data averse not collecting data is the only way to scale the severity of issues surrounding work-stress fatigue, presenteeism, wellbeing and mental health linked to the longer latency of non-communicable diseases found in more toxic workplaces. This was started in the Whitehall ‘II’ 20 year longitudinal study concluding a sense of injustice significantly increased the risk of ill-health, stroke, heart disease etc, etc, foreshortening the working life-cycle of employees and used by the WHO as the foundation for their Global Better Workplaces Campaign and again for the new “Decade of Health” as, presenteeism and carrying-on regardless of physical and… Read more »

Bob Hartley
Bob Hartley
2 years ago

A very interesting and thought provoking podcast.
Another big element of work related suicide is surely the rising suicide levels in serving and ex service personnel – Army, Navy, Air Force, linked we believe to PTSD.

Sylvia Bates
Sylvia Bates
2 years ago

As suicide rates are highest in men in the construction industry, is it the work or the social / culture of people who work in construction e.g. are people in the construction industry more prone to drink, gamble, work away from home, long hours which can lead to marital / partnership issues; many people never find out the ‘straw that broke the camels back’ when someone decides to end their life as they see no way out; so until social impacts etc can be included as part of any investigation, the workplace role is to prevent work related stress, recognise… Read more »