How to improve men's health at work

Putting good mental health into health and safety at work.

This article by Men's Health Forum website editor Jim Pollard was originally published in Insight, the magazine of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM).

It is encourages risk and safety professionals to look beyond the narrow parameters of health and safety to see a bigger picture in which one man in five dies before he reaches retirement age – a fact every employer needs to understand.

The tips to improve physical and, particularly, mental health at work, reproduced here, apply to all workplaces. Or you can download the full article below.

Five tips for healthier workplaces
  1. Offer something outside work. The workplace can do a lot to promote the activities mentioned in this article. Whatever you do, try to do something: simply offering extra-curricular activities makes a clear statement to colleagues of the importance you attach to a good work-life balance.
  2. Encourage workers to organise together. This could informally around a sports team or more formally through a trade union. Connecting with others is proven to promote mental wellbeing in all involved.
  3. Give your workforce someone genuinely independent to talk to. Talking is the route to good mental wellbeing and one of the easiest, most effective ways, for the individual and for your business, of seeing off little problems before they become big ones.
  4. Demonstrate good practice from the top. It’s much easier to encourage the wider workforce in healthier behaviours if senior management gives a lead.
  5. Talk about mental health in a way that does not make it feel like an individual failing or loss of control. That’s why stress is a useful concept – it implies something external to the individual. Use words that put the individual back in control.

More about health at work on this website.

Download the IIRSM article:

Insight (IIRSM magazine, October 2016): The bigger picture (PDF, 2.0mb)