First Aid Advice for Key Workers

We have set out some advice for Key Workers who are acting as a nominated First Aider for their business during the current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

These are supplementary to the existing guidelines for dealing with First Aid in the workplace. All other precautions for reducing the risk of infection should be maintained at all times.

Hygiene and personal protection

Hygiene and personal protection should be of the utmost priority when treating someone. Ideally hands should be washed first, gloves, aprons and masks should be worn before any first aid is carried out.

First Aid & CPR

If you suspect someone is not breathing do not place your head down to their face anymore to check, squeeze shoulders as normal and check for the chest rising and falling. If there is none, then dial 999 immediately and tell them that your casualty is not breathing and they could potentially have coronavirus (if they have been showing any symptoms). Then start hands only CPR, no rescue breaths should be given.

After any first aid has been carried please ensure all waste is disposed of in a biohazard bag and not in a normal bin. Wash hands thoroughly and sanitise everything that has been touched. 

Trionic wipes are great for this as these provide broad spectrum, fast acting antimicrobial technology that penetrates and lifts soiling from the surface, de-activating viruses, bacteria and micro-organisms.

These should also be used daily to sanitise any surfaces, door handles, etc.

Resources

Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest Guidance during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

How to protect yourself against COVID-19

How to wash your hands | NHS

Trionic Wipes

If you require further advice & support please contact Amalgamate on t: +44 (0)141 244 0181 or email: info@amalgamate-safety.com

GN: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Background

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a type of a virus that is transferable by respiratory secretions from coughs and sneezes from an infected person. It can be spread in two ways:

DIRECTLY  – from close contact with an infected person (the longer contact, the higher risk of infection).

INDIRECTLY – by touching a surface, object or part of a body (such as a hand shake) that has been contaminated by infected persons respiratory secretions (coughs and sneezes) and then touching your mouth or nose. 

Most common symptoms of an infection are a fever and dry cough. For most people it will be a mild infection, however, it may have severe effects on people with weak immune systems, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Smokers may be more affected as well.

Precautionary measures for individuals

The precautionary measures below are based on NHS and WHO advice:

  1. Wash your hands frequently – using soap and warm water. Follow recommended hand washing techniques. You can use alcohol based hand gel as well;
  2. Maintain social distance – keep approximately 2 metre (3 steps) distance between yourself and others. Especially anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and avoid shaking hands;
  3. Avoid touching your face: hands can pick up viruses from surfaces around you. If you then touch your eyes, nose and mouth you can transfer it to your body and become sick; and
  4. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. The best way is with disposable tissues which you must bin immediately afterwards. If you don’t have a tissue handy, bury your mouth and nose in your bent elbow.

If you show symptoms – have a fever, dry cough and difficulty breathing. Contact the medical service over the phone – dial 111 for NHS24 or call your GP.

If your symptoms are severe – dial 999.

Precautionary measures for Employers

Employers should follow general principles to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) such as:

  1. Ensure that all members of the organisation are aware of the requirement to self-isolate if they develop symptoms and support them in doing this;
  2. Consider how you can change working practices and patterns to reduce risk of spread of infection (especially for those at higher risk of illness);
  3. Introduce thorough routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces (e.g telephones, keyboards, door handles, desks and tables);
  4. Promote good hand hygiene by making sure that staff, contractors, service users and visitors have access to hand washing facilities and, where available, alcohol based hand gel;
  5. Ensure any crockery and cutlery in shared kitchen areas are cleaned with hot water and general purpose detergent and are dried thoroughly before being stored for re-use; and
  6. Shared facilities like toilets, canteens, meeting rooms and social spaces must be thoroughly and frequently cleaned and disinfected as well.

For further general information and advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit NHS inform website:

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

For information for employers please visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

Contact

If you require further information or support, please do not hesitate to contact Amalgamate

t. +44 (0)141 244 0181 or e. info@amalgamate-safety

Making our First Aid training courses safer.

During the current outbreak COVID-19, we want to reassure all of our clients that we are taking all possible precautions whilst still providing essential first aid training. We want to ensure that our clients have no doubts as to how we will be doing this and have put together a 10-step process that will be used in each of our training courses.

During the course induction, our trainers will use medical device and equipment disinfectant wipes (e.g. Trionic) on classroom surfaces. We will also check all learners and exclude anyone that exhibits COVID-19 symptoms: continuous cough/temperature.

We will also check that no learner is in a situation where they should be self-isolating e.g a family member with symptoms in the last 14 days or from an “at risk group“. We will exclude those learners as necessary. 

On arrival, each learner will be required to thoroughly sanitise their hands with either hand gel or an alcohol wipe that we will provide. They will be instructed that if they need to cough/sneeze it should be done into a tissue which is promptly disposed of and their hands re-sanitised. If they have no tissues available, they will be instructed to do this into a bent elbow, which is better than into a hand/fist, and never to cough/sneeze without covering their mouth and nose. 

Note: This will be monitored closely by the trainers and the group will be encouraged to maintain this standard throughout. 

All learners will be shown the below videos on how COVID-19 spreads; and

How to properly wash their hands.

It will be clearly explained to all learners that they should refrain from touching their mouth, nose or eyes unless they have just washed their hands or have sanitised. We will explain which methods we have available on that course for them to sanitise their hands (e.g. hand gel or alcohol wipes) and where they can wash their hands with water and soap. 

The biggest risk of contamination by far is from people to people through germination on hands. Before we begin the CPR practice, this will be explained to the learners as well as all the protections we have put in place to prevent infection during CPR practice. The measures include:

The measures include:

  1. Frequently replacing lungs/airways/valves;
  2. One way valves to stop air coming back out of the manikin mouth;
  3. Alcohol/sanitising wipes between learners; and
  4. Anti-surfactant wipe (e.g. Trionic wipes) after each session (removes any bio-film as well as killing germs).

These steps alone are sufficient to prevent infection and that is all that is normally used on our first aid courses, which has been approved as sufficient by the Health and Safety Executive and NHS Consultant Microbiologists.

However, in the current climate, we will also be issuing each learner their own personal CPR face shield to provide a double fail-safe. 

Learners will be instructed on how to correctly use the face shield each time. This includes gently tucking the filter part of the shield into the manikin’s mouth helps keep it in place, they will still nip the nose as usual through the face shield.

Between each learner, alcohol/sanitising wipes will be used on the manikin face as well as the forehead and chest where hands are placed (to prevent hand to surface/surface to hand contamination). 

Learners will be split into small groups, where they will have use of the same manikin all through the course to prevent the possibility of course-wide infection spread. 

At the end of every theory session, learners will be asked to sanitise or wash their hands. Before and after each practical session, learners will be asked to sanitise or wash their hands. 

Please click here for further updates on our first aid courses.

COVID-19: First Aid Training Update

As you will be aware, the UK Government have issued further advice for the public and workplaces in relation to COVID-19. The government has advised against ‘social gatherings’ and for people to work from home ‘where possible’. Also the advice for those who should self-isolate has been increased.

Our current advice is that first aid training is not a ‘social gathering’. It is essential training that is needed by workplaces, particularly when it is not possible for staff to work from home.

The government advice is changing on a daily basis but here are some things we as your training provider are doing as we stand right now:

  1. First aid training is essential training that is needed particularly by workplaces where it is not possible for staff to work from home, and particularly when there are severely extended ambulance response times due to the crisis. As such it is NOT a ‘social gathering’;
  2. Our class sizes can be reduced to minimise risk of infection. The main risk of infection in regard to COVID-19 is with people to people or people to surface contact rather than people to mannequin;
  3. We have implemented this 10 step plan to ensure hospital-grade infection prevention and control on our training courses. To view this plan please click here

We will also include the teaching of COVID-19 infection prevention and control at the beginning of our training courses.

At present our training team is operational. We will continue to support our clients with their essential training needs.

Amalgamate will continue to monitor all current developments and provide regular updates. If you would like any more information in regard to this, please do not hesitate to contact our training team on +44 (0)141 244 0181

Why is it is important get involved in World Restart a Heart Day?

World Restart a Heart Day - Why is it so important?
World Restart a Heart Day

As we approach World Restart a Heart Day on the 16th October 2019. The British Heart Foundation has published figures showing that around 30,000 people will have an out-of-hospital heart attack, and therefore will be reliant on the public to assist them until they receive help from the emergency services. It could come as a shock that, despite such a high number of these incidents, less than 1 in 10 of these people will survive. 

Part of the reason for such a low survival rate is a lack of bystander intervention. Lack of knowledge or understanding of what to do has resulted in the average Joe only giving CPR in 1 out of 5 incidents. 

Surviving an out-of-hospital heart attack

Various factors can play a part in the outcome of someone surviving an out-of-hospital heart attack – especially the public’s knowledge of life-saving skills. In fact, performing early CPR (with use of an AED) can more than double those numbers – as shown in other European countries where the survival rate is more than 1 in 4.

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives have suggested that the UK could achieve the same survival rates as other European countries like Norway (who are currently sitting at a 25% survival rate). They estimate this to mean that 100 more people could be saved per week, roughly resulting in more than 5,000 people per year. 

Teaching CPR – The missing factor

Teaching of CPR is the important factor missing in the UK. Although we are required by law to have a first aider in every workplace, we are rarely taught CPR anywhere else. There are an increasing number of European countries that require citizens to complete a First Aid course in order to obtain their drivers license. This mandate has resulted in higher numbers of the population knowing CPR, which has a domino effect on how many people step up to help those who need it. 

Further Support

Amalgamate are delighted to be supporting World Restart a Heart Day. You can find out more about organising your own RSAH session by chatting to your regional contact, organised by the BHF here – www.resus.org.uk/events/rsah or please contact us on: t. +44 (0)141 244 0181 or e. training@amalgamate-safety.com

North Ayrshire Council – Fire Risk Assessment Case Study

North Ayrshire Council is one of 32 council areas in Scotland. It covers 885.4 km2, containing the towns of Ardrossan, Beith, Dalry, Kilbirnie, Kilwinning, Largs, Saltcoats, Skelmorlie, Stevenston, and West Kilbride, as well as the Isle of Arran and the Cumbrae Isles.

The Council possesses a large, diverse property portfolio. They are responsible for health and safety in primary schools, sheltered housing units, young persons residential units, libraries, community centres, day services, training facilities, street scene depots, horticultural nurseries, and criminal justice social work services.

A crucial part of maintaining health and safety in this range of properties is managing fire safety. This is a huge task when considering such a wide variety of, often large scale, properties. Not only  does it mean taking into account the many different kinds of hazards that may be present, and implementing ways to try to limit the associated dangers as much as possible, but it means maintaining a huge number of fire doors, fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, emergency lighting systems, and fire fighting equipment. It also means arranging and monitoring the training of hundreds of members of staff in fire safety. 

All of these procedures are particularly important given that in many of North Ayrshire Council’s locations – such as in sheltered housing units and youth residential units, day services, and primary schools – vulnerable people will be present.

Our challenge

North Ayrshire Council needed comprehensive fire risk assessments done for 125 of their sites throughout North Ayrshire, and they needed them to be completed within a 6-month timescale. 

For an additional 6 sites, a fire risk assessment had been done recently and so in order to be legally compliant they needed an annual fire risk assessment review to be conducted.

North Ayrshire Council also had specific requests about how the reporting needed to be done in order to meet their requirements. 

Given the scale of the project and the logistics involved, they needed to be able to monitor progress at all times so that they could see where we were in the schedule and what was coming up.

Our solution

For the 6 properties that had had a fire risk assessment done recently, Amalgamate conducted a fire risk assessment review, helping to ensure that the fire risk assessment for these properties was a live document by highlighting any new actions that needed taking.

For the remaining 125 properties we conducted comprehensive, PAS-79 compliant fire risk assessments. These involved:

  • Looking at any potential fire hazards in the building, from electrical sources of ignition, portable heaters, fixed heating installations, and cooking appliances, to what dangerous substances were being stored, the state of housekeeping, if a lightning conductor was in place, and what potential there was for wilful fire raising;
  • Examining what active and passive measures for fire protection were in place, including means of escape, measures to limit fire spread and development, emergency escape lighting, fire safety signs, giving warning in the case of a fire, and fire extinguishers;
  • Analysing what procedures were in place for safety management, such as how often training and fire drills take place, if there are assigned fire wardens, what the testing and maintenance regimes are for fire detection systems, alarm systems, emergency lighting, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and fire exit doors; and 
  • Verifying what records were being kept of fire drills, staff training, and testing regimes.

Our assessors were true experts in fire prevention – former fire officers, with experience and qualifications in a range of specialist subjects, including fire regulations, human behaviour in fire situations, and fire alarm systems.

Their level of expertise allowed them to go above and beyond the standard information covered under the PAS-79 fire risk assessment – ensuring that North Ayrshire Council were meeting legal requirements – enabling them to give advice on best practice.

Throughout the process the Amalgamate team had regular meetings with the members of the Council overseeing the fire risk assessments to make sure that everything being done was meeting their requirements and to make them aware of any particular concerns. 

Any severe problems that our assessors came across on site were immediately reported to the relevant people on site and at the Council.

Amalgamate managed all of the timing of the process, remaining flexible enough throughout that if a fire risk assessment needed to be done urgently this could be pushed to the top of the schedule.

For each of the sites Amalgamate drew up a clear action plan detailing any hazards found, the action that should be taken, and the timescales that action should be taken within. This enabled North Ayrshire Council to see at a glance what needed to be done at each of their properties and when it needed to be done by, making it easy for them to then monitor their own progress in making the necessary changes. We also wrote an executive summary for each of the properties that highlighted the crucial points for their attention.

If you would like more information about this project and our fire safety consultancy services, contact us:

T. +44 (0)141 244 0181
E. info@amalgamate-safety.com

Legal Update: September 2019

It is no surprise that Brexit and its potential impact on the UK and it is understandable then that the health and safety changes coming our way in 2019 are being shaped by these events. We take a look at the current and recent legal updates in the UK H&S world.

Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

These regulations (effective 29 March 2019) aim to ensure that, following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, legislation related to a range of health and safety issues continues to operate effectively.

The legislation includes:

  • Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995
  • Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
  • Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2014
  • Offshore Installations (Offshore Safety Directive) (Safety Case, etc) Regulations 2015
  • Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 2015
  • Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017.

Note that a complementary statutory instrument, the Health and Safety (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018 No. 1377), has also been published. A similar set of Regulations have also been prepared for Northern Ireland. These regulations aim to ensure health & safety legislation continues to operate as it currently does once the UK leaves the EU. No significant changes are expected.

Ionising Radiation (Basic Safety Standards) (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018

These regulations aim to ensure that, following the withdrawal of the UK from the EU, the Ionising Radiation (Basic Safety Standards) (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018 No. 482) continue to operate effectively.

Reclassification of Mild Welding Fume as a HumanCarcinogen

The International Agency for Research on Cancer released new scientific evidence that exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans. As a result of this evidence, The Workplace Health Expert Committee endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.

In February 2019 the HSE issued bulletin STSU1 – 2019. This targeted all employers and workers in any industry, including the self-employed and contractors, who undertake welding activities, including mild steel.

Sentencing Council Published New Manslaughter

Definitive Guidelines

Under the new guidelines employers or managers convicted of gross negligence manslaughter after a workplace fatality are likely to face longer prison sentences.

Manslaughter by gross negligence occurs when the offender is in breach of a duty of care towards the victim and the breach causes the death of the victim, and, having regard to the risk involved, the offender’s conduct was so bad as to amount to a criminal act or omission. In a work setting, it could cover employers who completely disregard the safety of employees. The guideline came into force in courts in England and Wales on 1 November 2018.

PPE

The Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018/390 were enacted into UK law from 21 April 2018 to ensure that 2016/425 is complied with and provides enforcement powers to the authorities where the requirements are not met. The aim of this regulation is to ensure common standards for personal protective equipment (PPE)in all Member States in terms of protection of health and the safety of users, while enabling the free movement of PPE within the Union.

A transition period of one year (21 April 2018 to 20 April 2019) was applied, where both the old Directive and the new Regulation are applicable. Therefore PPE designed and manufactured in accordance with Directive 89/686/EEC could still be placed on the market until 21 April 2019.EC type-examination certificates and approval decisions issued under the old Directive shall remain valid until 21 April 2023 unless they expire before that date.

If you would like more information, call us on +44 (0)141 244 0181 or email info@amalgamate-safety.com.

The Main Causes of Workplace Fatalities During 2018/19

Following on from the HSE’s recently published annual figures for work-related fatal injuries during 2018/19 it is hugely concerning that in this day and age a total of 147 people were killed going to at work. This is an increase on the previous year.

We thought it was appropriate to highlight the main causes of workplace fatalities. Many of our clients undertake work where these hazards are commonplace and these figures provide us with a sobering reminder of the need to ensure that robust controls are in place to manage them.

Falling from Height

The No. 1 type of fatal accident in 2018/19 with 40 of the 147 people unfortunately killed this way are falls from height.

Falling from height is a significant risk to workers, especially for those of us working in the construction industry. Working at height while using ladders, podiums and scaffolding etc. can put the user in a position of significant risk which can be avoided with some simple preparation and controls implemented.

Struck by Moving Vehicles & Objects

Being struck by either a moving vehicle or an object took caused 30 and 16 fatalities respectively.

Objects falling from above, reversing vehicles and contact with debris are some of the biggest contributors to worker injury and can all be easily avoided.

It should be obvious, but don’t walk in front of moving vehicles and walk behind them instead, regardless of speed. Make sure that you can clearly see any vehicles that are moving around and make eye contact with the driver/operator to ensure that they know you are there.

Struck by Falling Moving Objects

In terms of falling moving, including flying or falling objects, ensure that materials and equipment being stored at height are properly secured. Keep a safe distance whenever objects are being lifted by machinery and, where practicable, use nets to catch any debris that could fall and hurt someone.

As with the majority of entries on this list, the correct PPE is absolutely crucial to the wellbeing of any employee and hard hats and steel toe capped boots should be worn by everyone on site.

Plant & Equipment

Injuries caused by moving machinery and equipment were also among the most common causes of workplace fatalities and unfortunately resulted in 14 people losing their lives.

Working with machinery can be dangerous and the risks of use include trapped or crushed body parts and punctured skin which has also caused 11 fatal accidents at work. Without the right training or a lack of maintenance/upkeep, the potential for serious injury is huge.

In order to avoid this, suitable training is absolutely crucial. Make sure that every employee who is operating plant or equipment has the skills, knowledge and experience to do so in a safe manner.

All equipment should also be subject to a regular maintenance and inspection regime. 

Asbestos

Exposure to asbestos can have fatal consequences. While not an instant killer, the long term effects of exposure are deadly. This has been clearly highlighted again this year where Mesothelioma, caused by previous exposure, actually killed 2,523 in the UK in 2017, so it’s not something to take lightly.

According to the HSE, asbestos still kills around 5,000 workers each year.

Asbestos tends to be found in buildings that were built before 2000 and over exposure can result in lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Before working on a site that potentially has asbestos, a survey should be taken to assess whether or not work can be carried out with no risks of exposure. Identify who could be exposed, and the amount of asbestos on a property.

Asbestos Awareness training is also essential for operatives that may potentially come in to contact with it and is intended to help workers avoid carrying out work that could disturb asbestos. 

Other Statistics Coming From The Report

When we looked further into this report, we ended up finding out some interesting statistics.

For example, construction had up until recently contributed the most towards workplace fatalities, but this year’s numbers show that the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries had a lot more fatal injuries and incidents.

It’s a great thing that the construction industry is improving it’s practises and workers are being looked after, but what has gone wrong in the agriculture industry to result in these numbers?

We also found that the majority of people (107) that were injured over 2018 to 2019 were aged between 16 and 59 years old, with 37 people aged over 60. While there has been a significant reduction in the amount of fatal workplace injuries since 1981, there was actually 6 more deaths at work than 2017/18.

If you would like to find out more about how Amalgamate can support your business to manage H&S, give us a call on +44 (0)141 244 0181 or email us at info@amalgamate-safety.com.

Tackling Absence Through Health and Wellbeing Strategies

In 2017 an estimated 131.2 million working days were lost due to sickness or injury in the UK. That works out to be the equivalent of 4.1 days per worker.

The most common reason for workplace absence was minor illnesses, like coughs and colds, which accounted for around 34.3 million days lost. This was followed by musculoskeletal problems, which accounted for 28.2 million days. Mental health problems, such as stress, depression, and anxiety, accounted for 14.3 million days lost.

According to a report commissioned by the Centre of Economic and Business Research, workplace absence is costing the UK economy £18 billion a year in lost productivity.

The problem of presenteeism

When we just look at the amount of days lost it is easy to focus on trying to raise productivity and save money by simply lowering the number of sick days taken.

The problem with this is that it tends to lead to inappropriate behavior, such as encouraging workers to come into work even if they are ill and being suspicious of people calling in sick. This not only aggravates stress and makes workers feel undervalued, but it causes longer recovery times and means that germs are likely to spread throughout the workplace. Also, sick workers are not productive workers and can sometimes make costly mistakes.

Presenteeism, people coming into work when they are unwell, is becoming more common. In a survey carried out by the CIPD in 2018 of over 1000 HR professionals, 86% of respondents said that they had seen cases of presenteeism in the past 12 months, an increase of 11% since 2016. Only a quarter said that their organisation had done anything to discourage employees from coming into work sick.

The health and wellbeing solution

So, what is the solution? The best way for businesses to try to lower absence rates and raise productivity is for them to identify the causes of absence within their workplace and then put in place health and wellbeing programmes that will help to tackle the underlying issues. In doing so, you can prevent the problem rather than just trying to treat the symptoms.

This tactic has proven results. Glasgow City Council estimated a saving of £4.5 million in the first year of a combined initiative to tackle absence, musculoskeletal disorders and stress.

According to research done by Business in the Community in 2013, FTSE 100 companies that prioritise employee engagement and wellbeing outperform the rest of the FTSE 100 by 10 per cent.

As the absence statistics mentioned above show, two of the most common causes of workplace absence in the UK are musculoskeletal disorders and mental health problems, and there are simple, cost-effective things that you can do to prevent these from becoming an issue and to deal with them when they do.

How to tackle musculoskeletal disorders

To prevent musculoskeletal disorders and deal with them when they arise, you can:

  • Carry out DSE assessments to identify any areas of risk and make sure that all of your employees workstations are set up properly
  • Provide manual handling training to teach people how to lift and carry heavy loads properly
  • Encourage your employees to be more active at work by installing sit/stand desks, encouraging employees to take regular breaks in which they do some easy stretches and exercises, and having walking meetings
  • Encourage employees to report any early signs of musculoskeletal problems, such as discomfort, pain, or fatigue, as soon as possible
  • Give employees easy access to a physiotherapist.

How to tackle mental ill health

Like with musculoskeletal problems, it is important to think about strategies that will prevent employees from feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, and that will enable them to receive support quickly when they raise concerns so that they don’t develop a more serious problem.

Surveys have shown, however, that one in five people feel that they couldn’t tell their boss if they were feeling overly stressed at work and less than half of people diagnosed with a mental health problem have told their manager.

This means that an important part of tackling mental ill health in the workplace is creating a culture that encourages staff to be open about their mental health by making it clear that mental health problems will lead to support, not discrimination.

Some positive things that you can do to tackle mental ill health in your workplace are:

  • Promote open discussion of mental health amongst leaders in the company
  • Encourage employees to do things that support good mental health, such as social activities, exercise, meditation, and eating healthily
  • Encourage staff to take lunch breaks, work sensible hours and take their full amount of annual leave. Have leaders in the company role model these positive behaviours
  • Offer flexible working to help employees achieve a good work/life balance
  • Manage organisational changes in a way that involves and listens to staff
  • Communicate that mental health will be dealt with in the same way as physical health so that employees feel that if they are open this will be met with support
  • Have clear mental health policies and strategies in place so that when employees are experiencing mental health problems, they can get the support they need straight away. Include details of these in induction training
  • Have regular one-on-one meetings between managers and staff members in which managers check in on how employees are getting on and employees are encouraged to share anything that might be causing them stress, whether this is a work issue or something at home
  • Train managers and volunteers in mental health first aid and stress management so that there are approachable people who can recognise the signs and give support.

If someone is having mental health problems:

  • Listen to their needs and respond flexibly. Everyone’s experience of mental health is different, so treat the person, not the problem
  • Involve the employee in finding a solution as they will tend to know what support they need. This will help employees to feel trusted and give a sense of supported empowerment
  • If they need time off to recover, maintain open communication with them throughout their sickness absence. Agree the frequency and means of contact early on
  • When they are ready to return to work, arrange a meeting to catch up and come up with a practical, written return-to-work plan that outlines what adjustments and on-going support they feel they need.

How to get help tackling absence in your workplace

There are lots of ways that Amalgamate can help you to tackle absence in your workplace. We can analyse your absence statistics to understand the causes of absence within your workplace and help you to develop a health and wellbeing programme aimed at preventing these issues and dealing with them quickly when they arise.

To help you tackle musculoskeletal disorders, we can provide DSE assessments, manual handling training and develop campaigns to help your employees stay active in the workplace.

To improve mental health in your workplace, we can help you to create mental health policies and strategies, provide training for company leaders and managers on stress management, and arrange face-to-face or telephone consultations with clinical psychologists for any employees who have raised concerns about their mental health.

For more information, call us on +44 (0)141 244 0181 or email info@amalgamate-safety.com.