From handling huge workloads in high pressure environments to team building in high-risk industries, here are the biggest health and safety trends predicted for 2018.
More Focus on Mental Wellness
A trend making its way into 2018 is for employers to prioritise their employees’ mental wellness. High pressure work environments with strict deadlines can lead to stress on an individual’s physical and mental health. Little to no relief from this pressure can result in burnout, causing reduced productivity and low morale, and can even end up causing time off work through poor health and depression. Burnout also plays a huge part in causing employee turnover.
Employers simply communicating with their employees can prove to be an effective way to combat this issue. Just generally raising awareness of the issue among employees has proved to be an effective method of reducing this kind of stress. Improving training methods can also be beneficial as it will equip employees (and employers) to better handle whatever situations are thrown at them. Work-related stress disorders have been steadily rising across the years and it’s down to employers to ensure that their employees are mentally as well as physically well.
Safety Culture Among Employees
More and more businesses are realising the importance of creating a culture of safety in the workplace, leading from the top and gaining involvement from all employees.
Ensuring employees are up to date with the business’s safety policy and procedures, as well as the ability to spot potential hazards, plays a vital role. Rather than providing employees with a rule book of what to (and what not to do) employers should be looking to inspire their workers to change their behaviours so that safe working practice becomes second-nature.
Employee engagement is everything. Involving your employees in structured safety activities is a great way to encourage them to stay safe within the work environment. Group activities are also a beneficial way to improve team building skills.
And speaking of ‘teamwork’, do you know the construction industry favours a “buddy system”? Employees are paired up together and they are responsible for their own safety, as well as each other’s. This method not only encourages safety within a high-risk working environment, but it is also beneficial in team building.
Gathering Information Elsewhere
Of course, it’s important for employers to seek out the right advice and guidance when it comes to Health and Safety, not least to ensure compliance with legislation. The Health and Safety Executive is the ‘go to source’ for most businesses in the UK. A variety of Government agencies frequently provide information and guidance on certain issues.
With the advent of social media, people can also pick up some handy tips and advice, and we predict a sway towards this type of ‘information gathering’.
Social media has actively proven that it can be a great source for all kinds of up-to-date information on health and safety, very often delivered in ‘reader-friendly’ bite-sized portions of advice – always much easier to digest! LinkedIn, for example, is an ideal way to look for information based on or around the work environment. Employers are able to participate in active discussions in groups with other likeminded professionals, or share their queries and thoughts on LinkedIn.
Applying just one of these trends to your workplace could prove to be worthwhile in the long run. Simply communicating with your employees, and in turn encouraging them to share with each other to learn as a team, as well as using social media to your advantage, should prove to be beneficial to your employees and your business.