Occupational Health News

Inspirational managers may harm workers’ health

Managers who inspire their staff to perform above and beyond the call of duty may actually harm their employees’ health over time, according to researchers from the University of East Anglia. The findings suggest that constant pressure from these ‘transformational leaders’ may increase sickness absence levels among employees. They also indicate that some vulnerable employees in groups with transformational leaders may in the long term have increased sickness absence rates if they ignore their ill-health and frequently show up for work while ill, known as presenteeism.
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Over a third of employees know or suspect their colleagues have a drug problem

Over a third (35%) of employees know or suspect that their colleagues have a drug problem or take illegal substances either during or outside work a new survey has found, while over 60 per cent complained that mood swings, missed deadlines and calling-in sick are just some of the ways it’s affecting team performance.
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Excess hours worked cancel out holiday entitlement

stressed managerManagers are working longer than ever, and suffering rising levels of stress according to the latest Quality of Working Life study from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Of the 1,574 managers surveyed for the report, the majority (77%) work for at least an additional hour each day, adding up to an extra 29 days over the course of a year. With average holiday entitlement only 28 days, this extra time cancels out managers’ annual leave. Up to 10% put in more than three extra hours each day, the equivalent of working a 15-month year.
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Cyclists more likely to arrive at work refreshed and motivated

Cycling could be the answer to arriving at work with a spring in your step according to new research from Aviva. In a study of 2,000 working UK adults, more than half of those who cycle to work said they arrive refreshed after their commute. Just 1 in 10 car and bus users claimed the same thing and that figure dropped to 1 in 20 for train and tube passengers.
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Is now the time for businesses to adopt mindfulness?

trainingNot-for-profit healthcare organisation Nuffield Health and mindfulness expert, Mindlab, have launched a mindfulness training programme for business to help them optimise employee performance and build emotional resilience. Nuffield Health, the UK’s leading employee health and wellbeing provider working with 60% of the FTSE 100, has created a new partnership with Mindlab, to deliver mindfulness training in the workplace. Research has shown that practising mindfulness changes the brain, helping to improve cognitive performance, emotional regulation and managing stress better.
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Dangerous Decibels hitting wrong notes at work

hurting earsIn the wake of rising claims, Allianz Commercial has issued customers with risk management advice to help reduce their exposure to noise in the workplace. Hearing loss, caused by exposure to noise at work, continues to be a significant occupational disease with around 170,000 people in the UK thought to suffer from deafness, tinnitus or other ear conditions as a result. Manufacturing is one of the worst affected industry sectors.
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Health and Safety Executive releases annual workplace fatalities


Provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents in Great Britain’s workplaces shows small change from previous years, sustaining a long term trend that has seen the rate of fatalities more than halve over the last 20 years. Provisional annual data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals 142 workers were fatally injured at work between April 2014 and March 2015 (a rate of 0.46 fatalities per 100,000 workers). This compares to last year’s all-time low of 136 (0.45 fatalities per 100,000 workers). Fatal injuries at work are thankfully rare events and as a consequence, the annual figures are subject to chance variation.
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HSE launches new workplace health expert committee

The Health and Safety Executive has appointed a new committee to provide independent expert knowledge and advice on workplace health. The workplace health expert committee (WHEC) will be made up of nine members who will provide expert opinion on emerging issues and trends, new evidence relating to existing issues and, on the quality and relevance of the evidence base on workplace health issues.
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Are employers ready to keep employees fit for work?


Cigna UK HealthCare Benefits (Cigna UKHB) shares findings from new research on employer readiness to adopt the Department of Work and Pension’s (DWP) new Fit for Work occupational health service. As the DWP is currently rolling out their new Fit for Work occupational health service, Cigna UKHB commissioned research through YouGov to check awareness and engagement levels amongst both employers and General Practioners (GPs). Worryingly, more than 75% of employers and 60% of GPs are not aware of the DWP’s new service, which provides free occupational health information and assessments. Even fewer are aware that the DWP scheme also allows tax relief up to £500 of medical treatment per employee each year.
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