You may or may not know that today, April 28th, is the annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Organised by the International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of the UN, the day focuses each year on fostering a safe and healthy work environment for workers around the world.
The theme for the day this year is all about safety and health culture at work leading to the prevention of accidents at work, or work-related injuries. With that in mind, we have put together some simple and easily-implemented top tips for both employers and employees, to help everyone remain safe and healthy at work:
- Every employer is obliged to provide employees with a ‘desk assessment’ or training on how to set up their workstation to suit them. Small companies without in-house occupational health departments can arrange for a specialist to visit.
- Encourage your employees to actively participate in the implementation of health and safety initiatives in your workplace. Create a rota, or designate one or two people to be in charge of ensuring they and their colleagues are working safely, giving them the title of ‘Chief Wellness Officer’ or similar.
- Get your employees to exercise together. More and more companies around the world are embracing ‘corporate wellness’ programmes, and setting up a weekly yoga or fitness class near your office for your employees can improve teamwork, boost morale and increase the health of your staff.
Make sure you take a full lunch break – and that means getting away from your workstation! A survey from Bupa found that less than one in three British workers take a full hour’s lunch break each day. Lunch breaks are proven to improve concentration and productivity, so getting out in the fresh air can help to boost the rest of your working day.
Your health outside of work needs looking after too. A good night’s sleep is vital – the average adult needs between seven and eight hours of sleep a night. Lack of sleep will affect your ability to feel alert at work the next day, and a chronic lack of sleep can cause even more serious side effects.
Keep your workspace clean and tidy. Set a 15-minute appointment in your calendar each week to tidy your desk or workstation, file things away and clean your work surface. Ask your employer for disinfectant wipes and give surfaces, phones and keyboards a good clean to prevent the build-up of dirt and dust.
There is a lot of information out there about work-related health and ways employers and employees can help increase healthy, safe working. Fit for Work offers free, expert and impartial advice to both employers and employees about work-related health matters, tailored to help answer queries from employers and staff alike. Help is available via an online Advice Hub, live chat service, and advice line on 0800 032 6235.