++  WORLD HEALTH  &  SAFETY AT WORK DAY  +  28 April 2016  ++
Mar 2016

What is your total cost of absenteeism? I know one of your dashboard figures is most probably injuries and damages, but subtract that from the total cost of absenteeism, and you’ll find that the remainder is the cost of wellness. Now you might say: “That’s not my problem, that’s HR’s problem”, but you’d be wrong. There’s a direct link between safety and wellness: employee health -> productivity -> injuries -> absenteeism  [1].

     

WORKPLACE STRESS:

A Collective Challenge

graphic depicting workplace stress

     

Some stats:

  • Absenteeism costs the SA economy around R12-16 billion per year.
  • On average 15-30% of staff could be absent on any given day. Take your annual salary bill and do the sums!
  • One day’s absence can cost a company 3 days’ worth of salary  [2].
  • 2 out of 3 employees who fail to show up for work aren’t physically ill. There are a whole host of reasons  [2], with stress and sleep disorders being the “top cause of lost work time”.

The theme for the upcoming World Safety and Health Day, on 28 April 2016, is:

graphic showing World Day for Safety and Health at Work - 28 April 2016

The abstract below, from the ILO site  [3], details the issue of stress very nicely. Your HR / Wellness people should be able to relate to this:

Today, many workers are facing greater pressure to meet the demands of modern working life. Psychosocial risks such as increased competition, higher expectations on performance and longer working hours are contributing to the workplace becoming an ever more stressful environment. With the pace of work dictated by instant communications and high levels of global competition, the lines separating work from life are becoming more and more difficult to identify. In addition, due to the significant changes labour relations and the current economic recession, workers are experiencing organizational changes and restructuring, reduced work opportunities, increasing precarious work , the fear of losing their jobs, massive layoffs and unemployment and decreased financial stability, with serious consequences to their mental health and well-being.

And it’s not only in the office but also in the plants, as highlighted in David’s story in the DHHS publication, “Stress at Work”  [4]:

The nature of work is changing at whirlwind speed. Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health organizations. For weeks David had been plagued by aching muscles, loss of appetite, restless sleep, migraine headaches and a complete sense of exhaustion. At first he tried to ignore these problems, but eventually he became so short-tempered and irritable that his wife insisted he get a check-up. He told the doctor: ‘Since the reorganization, nobody feels safe. It used to be that as long as you did your work, you had a job. That’s not for sure anymore. They expect the same production rates even though two guys are now doing the work of three. We’re so backed up I’m working twelve-hour shifts six days a week. I swear I hear those machines humming in my sleep. Guys are calling in sick just to get a break. Morale is so bad they’re talking about bringing in some consultants to figure out a better way to get the job done.’

ACTION

Here is your chance to do something about safety and health in your workplace.

I’m not putting any pressure on you (just giving you a gentle push) … 28 April is around the corner.  It’s an ideal opportunity for you to call me in to do my presentation addressing Safety and Workplace Stress. I’m your guy!  [5]

[1]   “Absenteeism Management“, OCSA

[2]   “Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace“, Forbes

[3]   ILO: World Day for Safety & Health at Work

[4]   “Stress at Work“, CDC, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 99-101

[5]   Re-energise & sustain your safety, health & wellness efforts

FEEDBACK

Your comments and feedback are always welcome!

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