When it comes to managing Occupational Health and Safety risks, and ensuring that their staff are safe from potential workplace threats, it can be easy to overlook possible mental risks in favour of overt physical ones. After all, physical threats such as loose cables, lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and tripping hazards all stand out because of their high visibility, in that you can visually see something is wrong, and that it requires an immediate solution. While physical workplace hazards are indeed an important part of effective Occupational Health and Safety system, there are also other, not so apparent, factors that also need to be accounted for. Particularly, in regard to providing a mentally supportive work environment, in which the mental health needs of staff are adequately addressed.
This has never been more apparent than in 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way business’ across the country operate, thousands of employees across Australia are now working in modified work environments, working from home, or receiving reduced to no shift hours. This has been going on for several months now, and to add to this, even when workplace restrictions start to ease, worksites across the country will operate under heavily modified work conditions, which take into account social distancing, whether work can be done remotely rather than on site, and so on.
These factors could have a significantly detrimental effect on the mental wellbeing of employees, as they may have been denied their usual colleague support networks for months now, which could result in them feeling unmotivated, unenthusiastic, and lonely. The mental wellbeing of employees in difficult times is a significant Occupational Health and Safety concern, which could impact the productivity of the business, as low morale can lead to reduced workplace performance.
It is therefore important that employers have an effective Occupational Health and Safety system implemented within their business, in order to take preventative measures against declining workplace morale, by providing their staff with safe support networks that they can access. The International Organisation for Standardization’s ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety standards provide employers with a set of frameworks and guidelines which have been proven to be successful, that they can implement across their operations in order to work at keeping their staff safe and healthy by accounting for both their physical and mental wellbeing.
It addresses these issues by including a framework of how business’ can identify the needs of their employees, and implement features across the company that cater to their work requirements. It provides business’ with a guideline of how to implement these steps across their operations, and explains how by identifying the workplace needs of your staff, and taking steps to ensure that they are addressed in a sufficient manner, staff morale is likely to increase. Further, improved employee morale can lead to more efficient productivity, as employees that feel supported and valued are more likely to take pride in their work, and perform their role to the best of their ability.
Designing a clear plan of where you need to go increases your chances of getting there
The ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety standards are built on the principle of strong preparation leading to positive outcomes. A business greatly improves its chances of implementing an effective OH&S system for their employees, and increasing workplace morale and productivity, through the adoption of a forward thinking approach, in which the potential physical and mental risks of their staff are acknowledged, and then preventative steps are implemented to address them, thus ensuring their staff can continue to work in a safe, supportive environment.
The ISO 45001 standards are an internationally certified, workplace guideline on what steps business’ can, and should take, to ensure the health and wellbeing of their staff at all times, and through their implementation, your organisation is demonstrating its commitment to the wellbeing of its staff, that it is willing to take active steps to prepare for any issues and work at mitigating them, and that their staff are able to work in a safe, supportive environment, in which they are able to focus their attention on their work duties.
Do you think your business would benefit from the implementation of these OH&S standards, in which you demonstrate your commitment to the wellbeing of your employees? Want to know what kinds of preventative strategies your business could implement to mitigate the effects of potential issues? Then please give Anitech Group’s consultants a call today on 1300 802 163, to discuss how the implementation of an effective OH&S system could benefit your operations. By discussing with them the particular requirements of your business, and what areas you would specifically like the system to address, they will be able to discuss with you how your business specifically stands to benefit from these standards. In a current marketplace full of insecurity, it is a good idea to provide your staff with something they can rely on.
Please click here to find out more about how business’ can benefit from the implementation of a reliable Occupational Health and Safety system.