Search Results for: health and safety

Campaign aims to help European employers manage work-related stress

Campaign aims to help European employers manage work-related stressWork-related stress is the second most frequently reported health problem in Europe – with mental health disorders estimated to cost European employers around 240 billion euros per year. Psychosocial risks in Europe: Prevalence and strategies for prevention – published jointly by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions (Eurofound), reveals that although fewer people report working long hours, job insecurity has increased across Europe, and in some countries work intensity has risen in companies struggling in the economic crisis. Work-related stress is also seen as a ‘sensitive’ or ‘difficult’ area — a perception that may however differ from one country to another. The publication of the report coincides with the theme for the 2014 European Week for Safety and Health at Work, (20 to 24 October) – Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress. All this week, EU-OSHA and its community of partners aims to get Europe talking about stress and how the psychosocial risks in the workplace can be tackled together. More →

Flexible work arrangements are leading component of wellness policies globally

Flexible working policies leading component of wellness policies globallyIn the midst of the August summer holidays; it’s now more than ever that flexible working policies can benefit both employees and employers, so that those who need to get stuff done can get on with it without having to sit in a near empty office for form’s sake. So it comes as little surprise that in a new global survey, polices related to flexible work arrangements and paid time off rank as the number one component of wellness programs globally. According to “Working Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies,” the concept of wellness at work has evolved over the last seven years, moving from a focus on basic health promotion activities to a culture where seventy-eight per cent of the world’s employers are strongly committed to creating a workplace culture of health, to boost individual engagement and organizational performance. More →

Is it time to stamp out e-cigarettes in your workplace?

e-cigarettes at workElectronic cigarettes, love them or hate them, they are here, but are they here to stay? Since 1 July 2007, smoking in enclosed or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces in the UK has been prohibited. E-cigarettes however emit water vapour rather than smoke and therefore could be legally used in public places and workplaces. But there is increasing debate about the use of e-cigarettes in public places, as concern grows about their potential harmful effects. It’s been alleged that e-cigarettes contain chemicals that could make them as harmful as normal tobacco. The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls the devices safety “illusive”, noting that the chemicals they contain are often not disclosed and have not been properly tested, while a report commissioned by Public Health England said e-cigarettes required “appropriate regulation, careful monitoring and risk management” if their benefits were to be maximised. More →

Design skills cited as one reason why London is the world’s best city

Clerkenwell design weekFor the first time, London is the world’s best city for business, culture and finance, according to the latest edition of PWC’s annual Cities of Opportunity report.  And the city’s reputation as a global leader in design is cited as one of the main reasons. The index of thirty of the world’s most important cities claims that London’s sheer economic clout, technological infrastructure and its design and development skills are just a few of the factors that led to the city usurping New York for the first time. When the survey was last carried out, it was ranked third. London is ranked one of the top three best places for intellectual capital and innovation alongside Paris and San Francisco and has leapt from eighth place last year to joint first place (with Seoul) in terms of its technological readiness.

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Business continuity report confirms technology still biggest threat to firms

Lock backgroundForget the recent UK floods. When it comes to risks to their businesses, it’s still tech that keeps business leaders awake at night, according to the latest annual Business Continuity Institute Horizon Scan report. Technology related threats continue to rank higher than natural disasters, security and industrial action according to the report which gauges the threats that organisations consider to be their biggest concerns. Nearly four-fifths of business leaders fear that an unplanned technological event, cyber attack or data breach will harm their business. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) consider malicious attacks through the Internet a major threat that needs to be managed closely, while nearly two-thirds (63 percent) think that social media remains a challenge. Meanwhile, one of last year’s threats – supply chain resilience – dropped out of the top ten completely.

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How a 70 year old happiness model is still helping us to define wellness

People climbing the Great Pyramid 1This year marks the seventieth anniversary of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the model that still introduces most of us to notions of what makes people happy and fulfilled. Maslow first proposed the model in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review, developing his ideas throughout the rest of his life. His work has been parallelled and built upon by other researchers since, but few have had the influence and longevity. Maslow’s hierarchical characterisation of human needs by category is ingrained into the minds of students all over the world. In the first of two pieces to mark this anniversary, Cathie Sellars of Workspace argues that Maslow continues to offers us the ideal definition of wellness.  

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Restricted access to washroom facilities leaves staff with nowhere to go

Crossed legsWashrooms, as facilities managers are only too aware can often be the cause of some contention within the workplace, particularly amongst female staff, who frequently complain of having to queue to use the facilities. However, that inconvenience pales into insignificance compared to the plight of many council workers and call centre staff, who, according to trade union Unison are either not able to access public conveniences or are restricted as to when they can take toilet breaks. The unions says cuts to council funding, which has led to the widespread closure of public facilities are adversely affecting those workers who spend their working day out on the road, while in a previous Unison study of call centre workers, around 28 per cent reported that access to a toilet was a problem. More →

UK employers failing to measure effectiveness of workplace wellness

MeasureFurther data from Buck Consultant’s Global Wellness Strategies Report reveals that UK employers know what they want from their workplace wellness strategy, but less than one in 10 (9 per cent) actively measures specific outcomes, and three quarters (74 per cent) of those that don’t say it is due to limited resources. According to the study, increasing employee morale and engagement (73 per cent), improving staff productivity and reducing presenteeism (69 per cent), and reducing absenteeism (66 per cent) are the three top goals for UK businesses; with the top four health risks identified as stress, workplace safety and work-life balance issues and depression.

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Survey finds global support for wellness initiatives

Working well

Wellness programs are no longer a “soft” issue for organisations around the globe with employers increasingly recognising the value of employees’ health and well-being to their organisations’ bottom line. According to the latest report from Buck Consultants, global employers – regardless of location, identify improving worker productivity and reducing presenteeism as one of their top wellness objectives. Wellness initiatives also continue to add value over time and while significant results can take years to realize, the survey shows how the impact of wellness programs differs by short-term and long-term payoff.

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Seeing stars, new guidance on reducing obtrusive lighting

RSL_slideThe Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) part of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has published its new SLL Guide to Limiting Obtrusive Light, which looks at ways of controlling obtrusive light and the design implications for the planning, design and specification of exterior lighting schemes.
While outdoor lighting is important for people’s work, safety and leisure, it can cause issues of sky glow, light trespass or glare. Obtrusive light can affect health if sleep is disturbed, and affect the visibility of the stars and the behaviour of flora and fauna. More →