Health & Safety Week 2015 -“Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress”.

Health & Safety Week 2015

This year’s European Safety Week takes place week beginning October 19th. The theme for 2015 is “Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress”.

 

Workplace health and safety is good for business, for workers and for society as a whole. Every year more than 5,000 people lose their lives in the EU as a result of accidents in the workplace according to Eurostat.  A great many of these lives could be saved and many thousands of other injuries prevented if risks were anticipated and sensible safety measures implemented.

Research undertaken by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) indicates that 10% of work-related illness is stress related costing European employers an estimated €20 billion per year and that over 40% of employers consider psychosocial risks more difficult to manage than ‘traditional’ risks.

A positive psychosocial work environment can enhance the health and well-being of workers and stimulate increased productivity. Good business performance with low absenteeism and staff turnover rates can be achieved as a result. This campaign emphasises that managing stress and psychosocial risks at work has significant benefits for workers, employers and the exchequer.

There is a lot of misunderstanding and sensitivity around psychosocial risks in the workplace and there is still a stigma around mental health. Although tackling work-related stress and psychosocial risks may seem challenging, it can be managed just like any other workplace safety and health issue, in a logical and systematic way. There are multiple positive outcomes in tackling psychosocial risks; it creates a healthy work environment in which workers feel valued, the workplace culture is more positive and, consequently, business performance improves.

For any further details about European Safety Week or how to get involved, please contact wcu@hsa.ie.