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Focusing on mental health and wellbeing

05 June 2019

At Safety & Health Expo 2019, inspection, verification, testing and certification organisation, SGS will discuss how its services can help companies become more efficient, sustainable and productive.

The main focus for SGS will be occupational mental health and wellbeing. In 2017 the Thriving at Work report made 40 recommendations for businesses, regulators, the government and the public sector, after it found one worker in six suffers from a mental illness and 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems lose their jobs every year. Furthermore, according to Mental Health First Aid England, depression, stress and anxiety are the most common causes of sickness absence, costing UK businesses around £35bn every year. 

‘When we think of health and safety it is usually physical protection that springs to mind’, explained Kate Breslin, product manager at SGS. ‘While this is obviously important, so too is the psychological wellbeing of employees. At Safety & Health Expo we will be able to demonstrate how ISO 45001:2018 sets out a framework that all UK employers, no matter what their size or vertical sector, can implement to quickly address any issues in this area. We will also be able to highlight how certification can make positive difference to how a business operates.’

ISO 45001:2018 defines a set of requirements for an occupational health and safety management system (OH&SMS) and builds on the established foundations of OHSAS 18001. It is designed to integrate with other ISO management systems standards to create an all-encompassing certification that not only protects workers from workplace related injury and ill health but also helps ensure provision of tailored in-house mental health support. 

Visitors to Safety & Health Expo will also be able to find out more about a new portfolio of courses that the SGS Academy has developed in conjunction with Cognoscenti Business Psychologists, a leader in business psychology based services. Focusing on three key levels – corporate, management and individual – the courses have been designed to help organisations be psychologically safer and more productive environments. The content of each course is based on the latest research and explains how to develop a tailored wellbeing strategy, select initiatives that complement a corporate culture and how to train employees to become more emotionally resilient and cope better with pressure.

Sharon De Mascia, managing director at Cognoscenti, commented, ‘Investment in employee wellbeing is gaining momentum in the workplace and as well as improving attendance, increasing motivation levels and enhancing productivity and engagement, it significantly improves occupational mental health. A programme of courses will take place around the country but we can also develop bespoke training that can be held at a client’s premises and I’m delighted to be working closely with SGS in helping clients improve their OH&SMS strategies.’

Kate Breslin of SGS concluded, ‘Heath and safety ranks as one of the most important elements of an organisation’s operational activities. I would therefore encourage visitors to Safety & Health Expo to come along to stand SH2082 to find out how SGS can help create safer working environments and protect employees against the possibility of injury and mental ill-health. Stand SH2082