This Sunday is World Health Day, an international day to raise awareness of global health issues and open dialogue to talk about those issues. As providers of lone worker safety solutions, First2HelpYou are using the occasion to discuss lone worker health and how you can help keep your team healthy and happy.
World Health Day 2019
World Health Day is a global health awareness day marked each year on April 7th, sponsored by, amongst other related organisations, the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly chose April 7th of each year, starting in 1950, as World Health Day. The day would be used to bring public attention to health matters and to mark WHO’s founding.
Originally, the day brought attention to major public health issues, such as TB but in developed nations such as the UK, mass outbreaks of these illnesses are uncommon. In their place, we now see new epidemics, reflective of the way our country has changed. Diabetes, for example, is now a major concern in the UK.
Among the most common illnesses, we see in this country are those that relate to mental health. Some of these can be attributed to work and lifestyles in the country, for example; we tend to work long hours in the UK. this can lead to chronic stress in some people, which in turn has a negative effect on their health.
Employers doing their part to keep workers not only safe, but healthy is now a major focus in the UK. One notable area where it is known that work can directly affect health is lone working, also very common in the UK.
So, what are the effects that lone working can have on your staff and what can you do to help prevent any health issues?
Lone Worker Health
When it comes to loen worker health, the foremost issue is physical safety. Lone workers face a much higher rate of assault, whether physical or verbal.
According to one report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 374,000 adults experienced violence at work in 2017/8. A previous British Crime Survey estimated that up to 150 lone workers are attacked every day – either verbally or physically.
These statistics go to show how vitally important it is that employers put adequate measures in place to help protect their staff. This includes correct lone working procedures, risk assessments and the issue of lone worker safety devices.
Looking after lone workers doesn’t stop there though; the other health impacts of working alone must be considered too.
15.4 million work days were lost in 2017/8 due to work-related stress and it has been indicated that stress is one of the top reasons people are likely to be absent from work. Stress can be caused by a variety of factors in the workplace; it isn’t a condition that is unique to lone workers. Issues such as bullying or heavy workloads can cause stress.
But we do know that lone workers are much more likely to feel stressed in their roles – this can be attributed to several factors. Worries about personal safety or feelings of isolation are major triggers for stress in lone workers.
Physical health can also be negatively affected by lone working, this could be down to heavy workloads or by not taking the correct breaks away from work. Tiredness and not eating properly can have serious effects on health if both are persistent and not one-off occasions.
Keeping Your Lone Workers Healthy and Happy
The good news is, that with careful management and planning, lone worker health doesn’t need to be an issue – you can keep your lone workers healthy and happy.
If you have already taken care of the physical safety of your lone workers with the introduction of lone worker devices, then maybe it’s time to look at roles and hours to see how you can further help your team.
It is important that check in with lone workers on a regular basis – these check-ins can be used as a chance to ask employees about any concerns they have and discuss with them the importance of taking regularly scheduled breaks, getting enough sleep and eating properly.
Try to organise regular meetings for the whole team to get together, this can help stave away the feelings of isolation often associated with lone working.
Get in Touch
If a lone worker solution isn’t something you have in place for your team just yet, then don’t delay starting the process.
Contact us for more information on how we can help and a demonstration of our products.