Health, safety and wellbeing
"If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care
of myself"Eubie Blake (1887-1983)
Good work is good for you—while there is a complex relationship between health and work, people in work are generally healthier. Work that is healthy, safe and well-designed is generally good for both physical and mental wellbeing. Conversely, the workplace also has the potential to harm workers, through physical or psychological injuries and illnesses. Hazard assessment and effective risk management needs to encompass both the risks to the safety, and long-term health, of workers. Overall, the beneficial effects of good work far outweigh the risks.
Investing in health and wellbeing makes good business sense. Organisations that invest in health and wellbeing initiatives see benefits that are broader than the financial gains from reducing absenteeism, accidents and injuries. Health and wellbeing programs that address the health risks of older workers within the organisation lead to increased staff engagement, reduced turnover and higher productivity.
The workplace, and its associated health and wellbeing approach, has a critical role to play in:
- preventing illness and injury, by eliminating or minimising exposure to hazards or risks, and the promotion of health and wellbeing
- intervening early for those who are injured, unwell or develop a health condition can help them take part in work
- supporting those with injury or illness to allow them to continue working.
To achieve this, workplaces should:
- meet obligations under work health and safety legislation
- take action to prevent harm in the workplace
- be proactive and commit to promoting health and wellbeing programs
- support the ability of individuals experiencing ill-health, injury or disability to participate.
The workplace is a key setting for slowing the rising prevalence of lifestyle related chronic disease by positively influencing the health and wellbeing of its workers.
To take action, download the Health and Wellbeing guidance material.