Mental Health and Safety – Overview
The central concept behind the Health and Safety legislation is that we ALL have a right to perform ‘work’ without being ‘harmed’ as a result of doing so.
Although there is a popular myth that health and safety is all about unnecessary and prohibitive rules and regulation designed to impede a business, nothing could be further from the truth.
Health and safety regulations are designed solely for the purpose of protecting people from harm in the normal and reasonable execution of their day-to-day duties and have been shown to positively impact business process efficiency!
Whilst it may seem to some business operators that certain items of legislation might prevent them from carrying on their business in the way they see ‘fit’ it also seems inconceivable that any employer would willingly adopt methods and procedures that contained uncontrolled or misunderstood risks and hazards.
Unfortunately this is often the case.
Mental Health and Safety
Our specific health and safety focus at Tranceform Psychology Business Services are the potential harms caused by activities or practices that might potentially harm a person leading on to the development of mental health problems such as Anxiety and Depression.
Work Related Stress is a known precursor to both of these conditions and so the effective management of this problem is crucial if a business is to avoid both lost time costs as well as potential litigation.
Both Anxiety and Depression can have the most debilitating impacts on a persons life and will almost certainly lead to a significantly diminished work performance as well potentially lead to the need to take time away from the work place to rehabilitate. The costs associated with both of these problems can be substantial, particularly if it is shown that the working environment is the primary cause.
The Health and Safety Executive are fully committed to enforcing and prosecuting cases where negligence can be established and, as always, ignorance of the requirements specified within the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is no defence.
Adoption of Management Standards
Responsible proactive businesses are able to address these potential problems by implementing the HSE’s recommended strategy called the ‘management standards‘ approach.
The management standards approach is based on research carried out by a team of expert psychologists which set out to identify the principal causes of stress at work.
This research showed that there are six causes of stress in the work place. As these causes are all preventable, employers now have a legal duty of care to identify and manage those causes or face potential prosecution by the HSE.
Management Standards Consulting
If you would like some help implementing the HSE Management Standards in your business then TranceForm Psychology Business Services can help.
We offer multi-disciplinary expert help through our core delivery team, including expertise in:
- Corporate Governance – Paul has held senior directorships in local SME’s as well as a BSc honours degree in psychology and social psychology.
- NEBOSH NGC Level 3 Occupational Health & Safety certification (Paul).
We are able to undertake risk assessments for work related stress as well as make a general gap-analysis of where your company ‘is’ in terms of internal structures, policies and deployment of the standards defined by the HSE.
Find out more about our Mental Health at Work services here:
Find Out More About Mental Health at Work Services
If you'd like to find out more about how we can help your business to manage mental health at work issues, or to discuss our training services, then please get in touch here.