Why Mental Health is an Important Part of Workplace Health and Safety Training
Posted by Adam Clarke – Operations Manager
Workplace health and safety training often focuses on the physical health of employees but it is important that organisations realise that mental health is equally important. According to HSE’s 2018 annual statistics, 15.4 million working days were lost in the year due to work-related stress, anxiety or depression. The cause of this anxiety and stress? When averaged out across 2009 – 2012, 14% of those surveyed stated it was caused by a lack of support – which can often stem from a lack of understanding on how to handle stress and mental health issues in the workplace.
Although training on mental health and stress in the workplace is now becoming increasingly commonplace, arguably it has always had a part in workplace health and safety training. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, which states that all employers have a statutory obligation to take “reasonably practicable” steps to ensure the welfare, wellbeing, health and safety of their employers, mental wellbeing is covered too – although this is implied rather than explicitly mentioned. So, focusing on mental health and stress awareness may be a new trend in workplace training, but it is one that ensures that employers are fulfilling their legal obligations when it comes to overall health and safety in the workplace.
There several reasons why mental health is an important part of health and safety training, including:
The main reason why training on mental health is important, for both managers and employees, is that it leads to happier individuals. By rolling out stress and mental health training in the workplace, organisations are effectively telling their employees that they truly care about their wellbeing. This can, in turn, increase employee happiness and wellbeing as individuals feel more engaged and better equipped to deal with any work-related stress.
Unsurprisingly, it is not only employees who benefit from implementing stress awareness training in the workplace. Considering how many working days are lost due to mental health issues and work-related stress, improving the support provided to employees can not only increase productivity but it can also help you lower employee absence rates, which is likely to save you a fair amount in sick pay alone!
As with any other health and safety issues in the workplace, organisations have a legal duty to train and educate their staff on how to avoid hazards and look after their wellbeing. Implementing stress awareness training will support you in your statutory obligation to do just that, and will allow you to cultivate a more positive and understanding atmosphere within your organisation.
Here at Praxis42, we offer a wide range of health and safety elearning courses which are the ideal way for organisations to train employees on the most important areas of workplace health and safety in an efficient and convenient way. When it comes to stress and mental health in the workplace, you can turn to our stress awareness courses which will educate employees and managers on how to recognise and handle workplace stress, along with how work-related stress and pressure differ from each other.
To find out more about all of our courses, you can contact one of our friendly Praxis42 team members today!