The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is launching a new campaign to reduce cases of work-related ill health, with new figures showing 26 million sickness days are lost each year.
The Go Home Healthy campaign comes in response to more than two-fifths of business leaders reporting a rise in long-term sickness absence at their organisations.
According to HSE figures, employment-related ill-health is costing the UK economy more than £9 billion in sick days. Yet the poll of 300 bosses finds that 40% of Britain’s largest organisations admit to not doing enough to address its causes.
HSE’s chair Martin Temple, says the survey confirms the body’s assumption that more should be done to tackle the issue.
He said: “Over the years, figures show that as workplace safety has improved, health has stagnated.
“There is a moral, legal, and business case for employers to do the right thing by their workers. The importance of more joined-up thinking across industries when it comes to tackling work-related ill-health cannot be overstated.”
Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work says everyone should want to have a healthy and safe environment at work, which is a “costly issue” for employees, businesses, and the whole economy.
Speaking at the launch of Go Home Healthy, she said: “This campaign will encourage employers to operate healthier workplaces and ensure workers get the support that they need.”
A recent survey by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) supports the HSE claims that employers need to do more to tackle the problem.
The poll of 50,000 organisations across 36 EU countries shows more than three-quarters of workplaces report employees are exposed to one or more psychosocial hazards, yet only a third have measures in place to prevent the risks.
These include excessive workload, job insecurity or working with difficult customers.
Reference: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: October 7, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown