Last year, two and a half million working days were lost due to accidents and ill health in Scotland. This cost Scottish businesses £187 million. Businesses like yours losing money through absence or lower productivity is an extra burden on your business. And in today’s economic climate, it’s a headache you can well do without.
However, it’s easy to forget that a company’s most valuable resource is its staff and that protecting their health and their safety is fundamental to improving business performance.
Healthy Working Lives helps employers to create a safer, healthier and more motivated workforce. It works with all kinds of businesses, completely free of charge, offering practical information and advice that helps Scottish businesses improve health and safety and the wellbeing of their staff. A healthier workforce really does make for a healthier business.
In the Highlands, the Healthy Working Lives advisers have a broad range of skills to provide you with one-to-one advice and ongoing support on a wide variety of work-related health issues.
They know every company does things differently. That’s why services and training are tailored to deliver the best possible solution for your business.
Advisers can visit businesses to provide tailored health and safety advice. Workplace visits are not about checking compliance with health and safety legislation, and no information on the results of the visit will be passed outside the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives. Instead, visits are solely to identify potential health and safety risks and provide advice on how to make the workplace safer.
Businesses can undertake a wide range of initiatives to promote physical activity and better workplace health. Advisers can help businesses to promote better physical health through simple steps such walking to external meetings instead of driving, using the stairs instead of the lift, or organising groups to walk together during breaks.
Staff are also more likely to be more active if their workplace offers facilities to support activities such as cycling or running. Advisers can provide help with information on providing bike racks, changing rooms and lockers, which can encourage workers to enjoy more vigorous exercise, along with the formation of company sports and activity clubs.
Dealing with stress
Stress is a common problem in workplaces across Scotland. Advisers can help businesses to draw up a stress risk assessment and offer a wide range of advice on how businesses can create a healthier, safer working environment. This includes support on addressing the areas of work design identified by the Health and Safety Executive as important to ensuring health, productivity and reducing sickness absence.
Advisers can also help to arrange training for managers on how to recognise the signs of stress, offer appropriate support and encourage increased levels of physical activity through the formation of lunchtime walking groups or membership of local leisure facilities, which can help reduce stress levels. Staff members can also benefit from training in how to better manage their own stress levels or taking part relaxation therapy sessions organised by their employer.
Addressing alcohol abuse
Around three-quarters of people with alcohol abuse problems are in full-time employment, making problem drinking a workplace problem as well as a domestic one. Advisers can help to draw up a robust policy which can help support employees with drinking problems and educate the workforce as a whole on the health issues caused by alcohol abuse.
Alcohol policies vary widely from workplace to workplace, but advisers can help to ensure policies are comprehensive and cover an organisation’s specific requirements.
These are just a few examples of what is on offer.
For more information on the benefits available to your business through Healthy Working Lives, call the national Adviceline on 0800 019 2211, visit www.healthyworkinglives.com or get in touch with the team directly via email using the contact details on this page.