As part of our business planning, we've considered what aspects of the business we might change and what areas we should focus our investment on.
With that in mind, I wanted to share a bit about one of my main priorities for this year.
You have a first aider in your business, right? Probably even more than one.
As it happens, due to an increasing awareness around health and safety, workplace injuries are on a downward trend.
In 2018/19 there were 581,000 non-fatal injuries reported in the workplace. Based on a figure of 27.7m workers, that’s around 2 per cent.
Of course, many more will be unreported, so let’s say we quadruple that and make it 8 per cent.
But were you aware that one in six adults experiences a common mental health problem every week? That’s over 16 per cent - double the risk when compared to physical harm.
As employers, we have a duty of care to the people in our organisation to avoid acts or omissions which are likely to cause harm to others.
If mental health is going to be the larger risk, this is where our focus should be.
The duty of care element is front and centre when it comes to mental health, but there are also other aspects to consider as employers, including the potential impact to your business.
This reflects the prevalence of mental health as an issue, with anxiety and depression thought to be the cause of one in five lost work days.
I recently attended a mental health first aider course, along with a few of my colleagues. I found it invaluable.
Knowing our people have a number of mental health first aiders to come and talk to about mental health hopefully makes them feel much more secure in their workplace environment, as well as reducing the need for time off.
We've made a big deal about us having people in those positions, which has also helped reduce the stigma around mental health and helped to put people at ease.
With it being so high up on the agenda elsewhere, why would we not want to discuss it?
If you’re looking to engage your staff, improve your culture and reduce time off work, then I'd suggest putting mental health on the agenda, and opening up the discussion.
While mental health first aid isn't mandatory, having completed the training myself I can highly recommend it.