Occupational Health is the promotion and maintenance of physical and mental wellbeing of all staff. Health problems directly related to a person’s job are defined as an occupational illness.
Some hazards, such as skin contact with chemicals causing short-term irritation and/or rashes are known as acute illnesses. For more information try our fully online Chemical Safety course. Chronic illnesses develop gradually and their effects may be irreversible, e.g. loss of hearing. Some may even appear years after the time of employment, e.g. asbestosis. For more information try our fully online Asbestos Awareness course.
As well as specific health hazards there are some general things that may affect all workplaces:
Smoking and passive smoking have been linked to lung cancer, irritation to the respiratory system and other harmful effects. The Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Act 2004 (No. 6 of 2004) placed a ban on smoking at all enclosed places of work from 29/03/04 to protect persons at work from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. This includes office blocks, aircraft, trains, company vehicles, health premises, schools, colleges, cinemas, theatres, licensed premises and clubs, if any of these places is your place of work. The smoking ban also applies to common areas within buildings. This means, for example, that corridors, lobby areas and reception areas of buildings such as apartment blocks and hotels are also covered. For more information, please consult Citizens Information service. In addition, try our fully online Workplace Safety course.
Alcohol increases the time it takes to react to situations, affects behaviour and reduces performance. For more information try our fully online Behavioral Safety course.
Substance abuse may cause health problems and can cause safety hazards in the workplace. Many drugs are particularly dangerous because they cause mood changes and alter people’s perceptions. Even prescribed drugs may have a detrimental effect. As with alcohol, the condition must be addressed. For more information try our fully online Behavioral Safety course.
Verbal abuse, threats, bullying or assault can cause stress and concern as well as physical injury. Staff should be encouraged to report all occurrences to their supervisors who should record and objectively investigate the details and if necessary report to the relevant authority. For more information try our fully online Bullying Awareness course.
A large percentage of sick leave is due to stress, either due to personal reasons or the physical or emotional pressure of the job. Stomach and skin conditions, heart disease and depression have been linked to stress. Factors influencing stress in the workplace include poor working conditions, overwork, job insecurity, peer pressure including harassment, unrealistic targets and poor management.
Employees should be encouraged to report stress and management should be trained to recognise the symptoms and causes of stress such as inability or reduced ability to cope with normal tasks and situations, increased sick leave and/or poor time-keeping. For more information try our fully online Workplace Stress Awareness course.
It is very important to have an effective occupational health management system in place. There are sound economic reasons for reducing work-related accidents and ill-health, as well as ethical and regulatory reasons. Businesses that manage safety and health successfully invariably have a positive safety culture. Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. It is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. The role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.
Myelearnsafety offers fully online Health and Safety courses.
To find out more, please check our Courses page.
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Firstly, let’s look at what DIEB is. Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging are important qualities that employers and HR must invest in at work to promote wellbeing and fairness among their employees.
Diversity is having a culture that values uniqueness: people of different backgrounds, cultures, genders, and races.
Inclusion means inviting diverse groups to take part in company life.
Workplace equity is the concept of providing fair opportunities for all of your employees based on their individual needs.
It’s belonging that makes each individual feel accepted for who they are.
There are many benefits derived from DIEBs in the workplace for the employer:
By working towards equity – for instance, asking different individuals from different groups to spearhead meetings – dissatisfaction could be curbed, ultimately bringing down employee attrition.
Most studies surrounding diversity in the workplace have found that for every 1% increase in gender diversity, company revenue increases by 3%.
Plan for Improving Diversity in Hiring
Ireland is known for being a friendly, accepting nation of diverse backgrounds. A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 57% of recruiters say their talent acquisition strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates.
Diversity in hiring leads to the following positive outcomes:
Appeal to a wide range of applicants. A larger pool of applicants increases the likelihood of attracting top talent who are going to buy into the diverse company culture, stay around for longer, and be have high levels of productivity.
Decrease bias. Decreased bias in recruitment, as well as adhering to anti discrimination legislation, allows for the best candidate to be chosen on merit rather than any other grounds of possible recruitment bias.
Reduce the likelihood of hiring the wrong person for the job. A candidate will not be chosen just because they are the right fit based on existing staff, but rather because they are the best candidate based on suitability factors, such as education, qualification, work ethos and having given a successful interview.
We explore further ways to promote DIEBS in our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging online course.