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Risk assessments in the workplace



Risk assessment is a fundamental part of good health and safety practice in the workplace. It is the careful investigation of what in your workplace could cause harm to the people and identifying sensible measures to control risks that may occur. Risk assessment is important for safety management since it helps one know whether the company have taken enough precaution to prevent any harm occurrence. Risk assessments protect both employees and the business, as well as ensuring that the business complies with the various legal requirements.

Many people think that incidents occur due to negligence or mistakes from employees when often it’s due to insufficient management controls. It’s also important to note that carrying out risk assessment will not totally prevent the occurrence of accidents and ill health but will play a crucial role in reducing such incidents. 

Some of the ways to improve risk assessments are:

• Proper training of both employees and employers to help them in knowing the various ways to mitigate and prevent risks.
• Regular inspections around the workplace.
• Having specific outlined work procedures.
• Employee fitness to ensure good health.
• Sufficient and competent supervision.

Specific reasons why risk assessment is important:

• For financial reasons. Effective safety and health management in the workplace contributes to business success. Risk assessment prevents accidents and health issues which inflict significant costs that a company could do without. 
• For legal reasons. In case of an accident, there may be significant legal consequences towards the company once investigations are conducted and no safety statement and risk assessment was conducted. 
• Moral and ethical reasons. The procedure involved in carrying out risk assessment has employers ethically bound to ensuring that their employers do not incur any avoidable accidents or suffer illness by reducing the likelihood. 

 

Risk assessments should be viewed as a positive thing for all concerned as being aware of, understanding, and avoiding potential accidents is a measure that those who take risk assessment seriously, will benefit from.

 

Mayfair, we care.

The Link between Health and Productivity

A happy, healthy and productive workforce is a definite asset that boosts a business's bottom line. Fact!

 

Most company bosses view wellness programs as a generous perk and not a strategic imperative. Newer surveys and research tell a different story. A variety of research shows that employees who work out for at least 30 minutes, three days a week are 15% more likely to perform better at their jobs both in terms of quality and quantity.

 

The physical and mental health of employees has a significant effect on efficiency, cost and efficacy in various ways. Organisations in support of healthy habits and wellness equal a more productive and loyal workforce while reducing overall costs.

How does your employee’s well-being affect your company’s bottom-line?

Employee wellness play a major role in the workplace, and savvy organisations are reaping the benefits. Here are some of the ways employee wellness affects your company's productivity.

Absenteeism

Absenteeism is one of the most prominent issues management have to deal with as they cost not only the company time but also money. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), one of the most effective ways of managing absenteeism is by implementing a wellness program. Companies that support workplace wellness programs report a higher percentage of employees at work every day.

Engagement and Turnover

Staff engagement is an important measure as it looks at how committed people are to their company’s values, success and their jobs.


Employees that are unengaged with their jobs are more likely to leave their
job. Companies that experience high turnover incur more costs when hiring new employees. High turnover also affects a company’s productivity, morale and customer service. Wellbeing is crucial to keeping employees satisfied and committed to their jobs.

Companies that run a robust health and wellness program enjoy greater loyalties since their
employees feel engaged and cared for. Various studies show that healthy and
committed employees perform better and linger longer at their workplace.

Productivity, efficiency and Accuracy

Employee wellbeing is crucial to how much work gets done and how well it is performed. A recent study issued in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine stated that employees with unhealthy habits display subpar work performance than their healthier counterparts.


Well-being takes into account the physical and mental health of a person and provides
life satisfaction. Happiness in the place of work influences productivity
positively. A study done by the University of Warwick showed that happier
people perform better than the unhappy individuals.

Reduction in long-term healthcare costs

It is a well-known fact that healthy employees cost
a company less. With poor lifestyle habits, an ageing workforce and expensive
health care, prevention of health issues makes better financial sense than
cure.

Increased employee morale

Providing your employees with health and wellness initiatives goes a long way in showing that you value, support and care for their wellbeing. This way, you will not only appeal and retain the best candidates, but you will also be able to boost their morale and job gratification which equals high productivity.

Without a doubt, there is an excellent link between employee health and productivity. Ensuring that you provide a healthy, happy workforce by devoting in a comprehensive workplace wellness program that is specially made to suit your employees’ needs is a win, win situation which will reap vast rewards all around.

Mayfair, we care.

Employee Workplace Fitness Programs

Being proactive about employee fitness is the latest development at many workplaces – and for all the right reasons.

Employers are realizing the importance of incorporating this important aspect of life into their organisations and one of the primary reasons for this development is to improve productivity. 

A fit and healthy employee can do more tasks more efficiently than one who is not physically and mentally fit and not suffer from the absenteeism often resulting from poor mental and physical health with its resultant impact on productivity.

However, busy people pursuing their careers and balancing a family life can make health and fitness goals a secondary priority due to time constraints.

Statistics

The stats about work and fitness tell it all. Did you know that 61% of employees are mentally and physically drained in their jobs?

Most of them suffer from this condition as a result of continuous work without taking rests or any other form of physical or mental relief.

In a study it was found that the top five causes of missed workdays are fatigue, sleeplessness, general body aches, anxiety and weight gain. Companies are spending billions of money dealing with all these work-related health issues. When asked about workplace fitness programs, 77% of employees said that they would work out more if their employer introduced fitness equipment such as treadmills in their workplace.

These types of statistics have motivated employers to introduce work and wellness programs at their workplaces. Such programs are designed to meet diverse needs of employees, keeping in mind that different people have different health needs.

Let’s look at some of the health and fitness programs that are popular with employees.

Workplace fitness centres

Forget the commercial fitness centre in town. Companies are now improvising on the little spare room they have to incorporate on-site fitness centres. Although these centres may not be spacious, they have adequate space that can accommodate a sizable number of
employees.

In addition to the standard workout equipment, such centres can also have rock climbing walls and even swimming pools. To enhance their usage, companies employ specialized fitness trainers to give their employees the much-needed support.

Smoking prevention programs

It’s clear that most companies still have employees who smoke cigarettes. Although it may look like a non-essential issue, the results can be quite damaging, especially to the company’s
productivity due to the health issues that are associated with smoking. The smoking programs that many companies have introduced are aimed at sensitising employees on economic and ethical issues related to smoking.

Yoga programs

Yoga has numerous benefits both to the physical and mental state of the person practicing it. A good percentage of employers have considered including it in their workplace fitness programs. The best thing about yoga classes is that any empty room at the workplace can be used for this program. The classes can be conducted in unoccupied conference rooms, unused offices, and if the weather allows, the rooftops can be perfect venues.

Yoga classes help employees to develop better postures, heal back pain, get rid of stress, and recharge their bodies among others.

Summary

There are many workplace fitness programs and we have just highlighted three of the most popular in this article, but many organisations, both big and small are benefitting from a focus upon employee health and fitness. The good news is that most of them report positive results on how the programs have influenced their productivity and the general performance of their organization.

Mayfair – we care.

With acknowledgements to:

http://press.careerbuilder.com/2017-05-23-Do-American-Workers-Need-a-Vacation-New-CareerBuilder-Data-Shows-Majority-Are-Burned-Out-at-Work-While-Some-Are-Highly-Stressed-or-Both

http://www.treadmillreviews.net/working-out-during-the-workweek/

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/beginners/how-to/office-yoga



 

Sleep – are you getting enough?


 

It is a fact that we spend one third of our lives asleep. However research indicates that 20% of us do not get enough sleep and this often involves being unable to go to sleep in the first place.

Regular lack of sleep has been known to affect overall health and make such people prone to such serious conditions as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Naturally this impacts on both our personal and work environment with irritability and sluggishness being too classic outward signs of lack of sleep.

We offer some tips below about how to get to sleep quickly if you are one of those struggle to catch your sleep.

·         Regular exercise. Not only does this have overall health benefits and  is one of the more obvious tips,  it is widely acknowledged that regular daily exercise will contribute towards a good night’s sleep.

·       The first and most of most obvious piece of advice is to avoid electronic screens before bedtime and avoid reading tablets and smartphones in bed. The main reason for this advice is that the blue light emitted by such screens restrains the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that controls your sleep cycle and by reducing melatonin it can make it more difficult to get to sleep.

·         If you do have trouble getting to sleep then get up! Change your environment and do something like reading a book in a comfortable armchair or meditating. Richard Weisman, professor for the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, advises that the key is to avoid associating your bed with being awake so by getting up, and going back to bed when you’re feeling sleepy, you are more likely to go to sleep.

·         Check the temperature of your room. The ideal temperature is around 18° C. Being either too cold, or to warm in bed can have an adverse effect on sleep.

·         Try to make sure your mind is calm by meditating for a few minutes if you are having trouble catching your sleep. Try closing your eyes and inhale slowly and deeply through your nose before exhaling slowly through your mouth. Count the number of breaths down from 300 to zero in threes so – 300, 297, 294, etc. Many people practicing this report never reaching zero!

Those are just a few practical tips which we hope will help, but if the sleeplessness persists we recommend that you seek professional medical advice.

And remember, Mayfair cares.

Making exercise a habit.



What happens when your alarm goes off in the morning and you have planned an early morning exercise session of power walking, jogging or cycling?

Do you hit the snooze button?

Or do you seize the day and look forward to your exercise?

Surprisingly as it may seem, many people will hit the snooze button and put the exercise session off until lunchtime. This is a pity because exercise before work can make you feel great, set you up for the day and refresh your mind.

And will it happen at lunchtime? Or will that important project be more important than your own well-being and health? On the majority of occasions the important project will win over an exercise session.

It seems that for many of us there is always something else that we could be doing instead of exercise. We could be sleeping! We could be working. We could be socialising. All these reasons are perfectly valid in our own minds but this is because we have not made exercise a priority.

If we turn this on its head, put our own health and well being first, and make exercise the priority, then exercise can become the excuse for not being able to have that extra hour in bed, not working that early morning session, and not having a drink with friends  then we will find this to be highly beneficial to our overall health and well-being.

It is said that by doing an activity on three consecutive occasions at the same time on three consecutive days this will create a neural groove within our brain. This neural groove will make the decision making process easier when the alarm wakes us up and the process of the habit will create ever more anchored neural grooves.  A daily routine will be established.

Please don’t forget however, that habits are easily broken. A holiday, working away from home, about of sickness, all these and more can break the good habits that you have acquired so it will take effort to recreate the habit when holidays and any break from a good routine are over.

And remember, Mayfair cares.

Life in the fast lane.


 

Our world is a busy one. We have 24 hour rolling news day in, day out. There is always something new to worry about.

Many people have never worked so hard, for so long and with communications as they are, we are never out of touch with work. Even at the weekend and on holiday.

Is this good for us?

If we are always rushing, always feeling overworked, always on call, the reality is we are probably doing far too much for our own good.

The body will release stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which can make us impatient, anxious, and irritated. This puts us under stress and can raise blood pressure with all the consequent problems associated with high blood pressure such as heart disease.

Why are we so reluctant to make our own lives that little bit easier?

Is it because we feel we might be judged by others as lacking ambition, energy and commitment? Or do we worry that if we do slow down, the to do list will just become out of control?

Okay, so we want to slowdown for our own benefit. How do we go about it?

Prioritising tasks

1.      Sort your to do list out into three levels of importance and concentrate firstly on level one. Even if these are the tasks that you least want to tackle, you know that they are important and you will feel so much better for having tackled them and got them out of the way.

2.      Avoid multitasking. In the work situation multitasking can lead to a number of jobs being half done and taking twice as long! 

Tackle one job at a time but do it thoroughly and properly to your own satisfaction and high standards.

 3.      Delegate more. Many of us do not delegate because we believe “it is quicker to do it ourselves“. That is a fallacy. Which means that we either do not trust our colleagues or we have a basic insecurity and feel that to be seen delegating would be a weakness?

4.      Take breaks and exercise more. Regular breaks and exercise will keep you refreshed and make you feel better and more able to tackle the tasks on your to do list.

5.      Don’t be a slave to emails and messages. These days we are inundated with emails and text messages, What’sApp messages etc. and these can interrupt your train of thought on projects if you let it. Don’t let it!

Let your contacts know that you check your emails and messages once a day at 16:00 and deal with any important ones then. If something is very urgent then advise them that they should ring you! This will make a huge difference to your working day and guess what? You won’t receive many phone calls either.

In summary.

There is little we can do about a fast moving world and communications that seem to increase our workload rather than manage it better, but we can handle ourselves better and lead a less stressful lifestyle by taking small steps to improve our personal situation

And remember, Mayfair cares.

Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace