RoSPA last year conducted an Inquiry into the Health and Safety Needs of Apprentices, which revealed a disconnect between young people and the workplace.
We found that there is a need for greater advice for young people about occupational health and wellbeing, and that the communication methods used to convey this should exploit the types of everyday technology and media with which young people are most familiar.
Essentially, young workers need to be empowered.
Last month, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) publication Flexibility for Who? Millenials and mental health in the Modern labour Market reinforced this idea, through exploring the mental health and wellbeing challenges posed by the ‘future work’ of young workers: jobs which are much more likely to be part-time temporary or self-employed, and for which young people are likely to be overqualified.
RoSPA welcomes the IPPR suggestion that companies with more than 50 employees should create a ‘workers’ forum’ in order to ensure employees, including those on flexible contracts, have sufficient influence over their working lives – in fact, proactive organisations have had health and safety committees in place for the past 40 years!
Our own position on Mental health at Work is clear – we seek a renewed campaign to embed Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Stress Management standards in the training and continuing professional development of managers, worker representatives and health and safety professionals. There is also a need to improve the level of access which employees have to suitable occupational health services and support.
With the recent Department of Health announcement of a huge investment in mental health services, employers must also start turning their attentions to the mental health and wellbeing challenges of their workplaces.
Karen McDonnell, occupational safety and health policy adviser
Posted: 8/8/2017 1:49:10 PM