A leading health and safety organisation has joined a campaign tackling work-related stress.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has become the latest partner on the Working Minds campaign launched a year ago today by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The workplace regulator’s figures show of the 1.7 million workers suffering from a work-related illness almost half (822,000) were suffering from stress, depression or anxiety.
HSE’s Working Minds campaign encourages employers to start to tackle work-related stress and to talk to their staff and take steps to support employees with their mental health in the workplace.
The campaign has a series of partners who work with HSE to highlight issues around work-place stress and its impact on mental health. With IOSH now signed up it means the number of partners has more than doubled to 19 since Working Minds was launched last year.
HSE’s research highlighted that many employers are unaware of their legal duties or how to spot the signs of stress. In response, Working Minds looked to develop networks to promote the legal duties by encouraging employers and workers across all sectors of the economy to sign up as campaign champions. Its main aim is to raise awareness of stress and the impact it has on mental health of workers and businesses. The campaign is also recognising the significant milestone of one thousand Working Minds champions as it celebrates its one-year anniversary.
Liz Goodwill, Head of the Work Related Stress and Mental Health Policy Team at HSE, said: “When we launched Working Minds a year ago, we were under no illusion that stress, anxiety and depression were on the rise in the UK. Our aim was to ensure psychosocial risks are treated the same as physical ones, that employers recognise their legal duty to prevent work-related stress to support good mental health in the workplace, and that they have the tools they need to achieve this.
“Now, at a time when we have major challenges facing the country – leading to stressors both inside and outside of the workplace – welcoming new partners extends our reach and helps get our messages to businesses. That is why IOSH joining Working Minds is so important – these challenges can only be tackled successfully by working together – as organisations, as businesses, as teams.”
Ruth Wilkinson CMIOSH, Head of Health and Safety (Policy and Operations) at IOSH, said: “We’re really pleased to be collaborating with the HSE and other UK partners on the Working Minds campaign. Good mental health is just as important as good physical health.
“Our work can impact our mental health, both positively or negatively, so decent work and good working environments are important. Employers can therefore play a key role in prevention, through good risk management, raising awareness, training people to spot the signs and symptoms of stress and by providing interventions to support colleagues.
“But a 2019 IOSH report revealed 80% of workers wouldn’t discuss their mental health with their line manager because they feared being stigmatised or judged incapable.”
The total annual cost of poor mental health to employers has increased by 25% since 2019, costing UK employers up to £56 billion a year – according to a report by Deloitte. Figures show employers can see a return of £5.30 on average for every £1 invested in mental health.
Working Minds encourages employers to promote good mental health in the workplace through collective behaviours and forming habits using the 5 Rs: Reach out, Recognise, Respond, Reflect and make it Routine. Going forward, employers should hold regular catch-ups with workers and their teams.
Notes to editors
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
- To read more about HSE’s Working Minds campaign click here: https://workright.campaign.gov.uk/campaigns/working-minds/
- The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)is the Chartered body and largest global membership organisation for health and safety professionals. Its vision is a safe and healthy world of work: iosh.com