Is wellness a consideration for your health and safety program?

When employers think about health and safety for their employees, they tend to think about things like safety gear (hard hats, goggles, etc.) and WHMIS training. However, more and more employers are also starting to think about overall wellness and how that can be a critical component of a health and safety plan.

The fact is that the mental and physical wellness of an organization’s employees can have a huge impact on workplace performance and, by extension, on the company’s bottom line.

What is “wellness” in the context of health and safety?

Wellness can be broadly defined as an individual’s quality of life – it includes both their mental and physical well-being as well as their feelings of personal development. Because most working-age adults spend a large percentage of their life in the workplace, it makes sense that employers should pay attention to wellness and consider how they might play a role in improving an employee’s quality of life.

Particularly in positions that require a lot of health and safety management, it is clear that workers who are physically and mentally healthy have fewer safety risks. Employees who work in dangerous environments, with machinery or at heights, need to have a certain amount of physical ability and alertness of mind in order to stay safe. And this, to a large extent, depends on their mental and physical health and wellness.

Additionally, when employees feel an overall sense of well-being, they are more likely to be content in their jobs and be able to reach their full potential with the company. This, of course, results in higher productivity, reduced absenteeism, and lower turnover. And in a labour market where there is fierce competition for talent, workplaces that pay attention to employee wellness are going to have an advantage.

Benefits of having a wellness policy

Companies that incorporate wellness into their health and safety programs tend to have lower risks and happier employees. Businesses that focus on wellness may also have a higher earning potential since employees can be more productive as well as save money because of less absenteeism and workers’ compensation claims.

A few examples of wellness initiatives include:

  • Smoking cessation programs and incentives to help employees quit smoking.
  • Nutrition and exercise programs to encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles.
  • Mental health resources, such as meditation or CBT apps.

Improving employee morale

Employee morale is usually connected to an employee’s ability to deal with the stresses of the job. To improve employee morale, it is recommended that employers help employees to remain realistic about their job and to find meaning in their work.

Offering flexible working practices and ensuring that employees are able to eat well and remain physically fit is another great way to positively impact morale.

Contact TeksMed today

Keeping employees safe on the job has evolved over the years. Today many employees are seeing the benefit of incorporating wellness into their health and safety plans.

At TeksMed, we offer a number of wellness-related supports in our disability management and return to work programs. For more information on how we can help your organization, contact us today.

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