Once in a while, work was health. It is no longer something that we would chant today. Health has not become work either, but one thing is certain, without health work is not. Worse than that, work harms your health more often than you think. Accidents at work, occupational diseases, absenteeism, sick leave… The world of work is changing, and employers who have not yet established an occupational health strategy are a wagon behind.
When occupational health becomes a priority
Two aspects of work involve health:
- First, the fact that work can cause health problems more or less directly. Some trades and sectors are more at risk than others and not all of them involve the same professional risks. In addition, let's not forget that illnesses caused by work can be both physical and psychological.
- In recent years, well-being at work has become as important for employees as compensation; sometimes more, sometimes less, in any case it can no longer be neglected either in our time or in our society.
The benefits of a health and well-being at work strategy for employees
Basically, employees are asked to be productive. Focused on their work, many struggle to balance their professional and personal lives. Their health unfortunately takes second place. It is then up to the company to take over by establishing a real strategy centered on health. It is up to her to inform and raise awareness among her employees. In return, employees are finally taking charge of their health. Win-win.
A global context that refocuses on the human
It is an undeniable fact, work evolves at the same time as the world; the movement is global. We can no longer limit ourselves to the occupational risks known until now, such as low back pain among public works workers at random. Diseases are diversifying and becoming more subjective, like psychosocial risks.
In parallel with the changing society, management has also taken a different turn in recent years. More than ever, the priority of management must be people. Benevolence and listening are the key words of a productive management these days. But if we believed at the beginning of the era of benevolence that table football at reception was THE solution, nothing is less true today. It is a real QVT (quality of life at work) strategy that must be put in place in a sustainable way.
Prevention is better than cure
Waiting for diseases and risks to plague the company is not a good strategy. What works is to inform and educate people currently in post. The subjects are many and varied, to be adapted to the specific problems of the company. Some prefer to prevent and raise awareness about addictions at work, others about safety at work, still others about MSDs… The list is long.
What does the Occupational Health Act say?
The law obliges companies to be concerned about the health and safety of their employees. Many companies today stick to drafting a DUERP (Single Document for the Assessment of Occupational Risks) but this is not enough. It is necessary to be able to ensure the physical and psychological health of employees as well as their safety in a proactive manner. Nothing better than fully informing its employees through prevention campaigns, awareness workshops, conferences on health topics that concern them. It will also be important to walk the talk by offering screening workshops as well as physical and mental well-being activities.
The benefits of an occupational health and well-being strategy for the employer
The employer is indeed responsible for the health of its employees. While some positions are known to induce specific health problems, others are more insidious. These include musculoskeletal disorders for the most common, up to 86% of occupational diseases in 2021; but also burn-out, exhaustion and other psychosocial risks which are on the rise compared to the period before Covid-19 (+9% in 2021). Companies cannot ignore their responsibility.
In any case, if the employer wishes to keep his company performing well, the health of his employees must become his priority. Much more than that, health and well-being at work have direct positive repercussions on the company:
Drop in absenteeism
The barometer of absenteeism and commitment announces 22.6 days of absence per employee in 2021, on average. Sick leave does not only concern work-related physical illnesses, of course. But it can be the case, and above all, absenteeism is often caused by the stress suffered at work. Therefore, good working conditions and good employee health will ensure a low absenteeism rate.
Increase in attractiveness
A company that takes care of its employees is known and attracts. Establishing a genuine workplace health strategy attracts new talent.
Increase in loyalty
In the same way, an employee who feels well treated will stay more willingly in the company.
Let's end with the pecuniary reality, which is the addition of the previous points. Employees in good health, present at work with complete peace of mind, unstressed and loyal to the company, can be more productive.
Do you want to implement a health prevention strategy in your company?