What to Watch for When Monitoring Workers’ Health

“90% of business leaders said their health and safety risks were being managed effectively… But only 18% said they made work-health a priority.”

Keeping your employees healthy will ensure a healthy business.

As work can have significant impacts on an employee’s health and well-being, businesses have a responsibility to protect them by identifying and minimising all work-related health risks.

Health risks vary depending on the work environment and includes things such as exposure to heat, noise, hazardous substances, unsafe equipment, ergonomic risk factors, work-related stress or workplace bullying.

Determining the overall state of your workers’ health can be quite challenging. However, setting indicators that are relevant to your organisation provides a simplified way to monitor and minimise these risks. Furthermore, implementing indicators helps identify weaknesses in your health and safety system, and can also assist in measuring the overall performance of your organisation.

Deciding on the most appropriate indicators to implement is complex, as you must consider whether they will provide you with the relevant data/information you need to meet your end objectives. Additionally, relying on one single indicator is unrealistic. Organisations should factor in a range of indicators which includes a mix of data and analytics.

When setting indicators ask yourself:

  •  Will they focus attention on the things that will prevent serious injury or illness?
  •  Do they include a mix of data, descriptive information and analysis?
  •  Are the benefits worth the time and cost of collecting the information?

Common indicators used to monitor health risks include:

  • level of absenteeism
  • number of personal grievances
  • employee perception and satisfaction of management
  • average overtime hours per person
  • number of health monitoring tests done versus the number of workers exposed to a health risk.

The Government Health and Safety Lead provides further information on using indicators to monitor health risks and assess a business’ health and safety performance, which you can access here.

Moreover, if your employees are exposed to obvious health risks in the workplace, contact the team at Working Wise to see how our services, such as Health Monitoring and Workstation Assessment, can help you take practical steps in improving your workers’ health.

“Workers with good health generally have higher, levels of productivity, are more engaged, and are able to keep working” – WorkSafe NZ.

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