Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing
A safe workplace protects workers from physical and psychological harm, promotes worker health at work and supports the ability of ageing workers and those with ill health and disability to engage in productive work with the opportunity to thrive in their roles.
The benefits of a healthy workplace
Good work is good for everyone. Whilst there is a complex relationship between health, safety and work, when people are working, they are generally healthier and happier. Undertaking work activities that are healthy, safe and well-designed is generally good for both our physical and mental wellbeing.
Conversely, the workplace also has the potential to harm workers, through physical or psychological injuries and illnesses. This can be mitigated through hazard assessment and effective risk management to address both the risks to health and safety, early intervention for effective return to work programs and the long-term health of workers. Overall, the benefits of good work far outweigh the risks.
Return on Investment
Investing in health and wellbeing makes good business sense. Organisations which make the decision to invest in health and wellbeing initiatives see benefits that are broader than the financial gains from reducing absenteeism, accidents and injuries. Mental health and wellbeing programs that address the health risks of workers within the organisation lead to increased staff engagement, reduced turnover and higher productivity levels.
The workplace and its 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 have developed a physical or psychological health condition to help them to participate in work to support their health or assist their recovery back to work;
- supporting those with injury or illness can allow them to continue working.
The workplace needs to be resourced to reduce the rising prevalence of lifestyle related chronic disease by positively influencing the health and wellbeing of its workers.
These resources provide useful guidance for employers and workers on how to address health and safety risks and promote positive mental health and wellbeing. This information can be used for policy development, training and development and provides the evidence needed for strategic health and safety development work.