TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Today's release of a new national standard for mental health in the workplace, adds a vital psychological dimension to the health and safety factors that impact Canadian workers and workplaces.
"For the first time Canadian employers have a national standard that encourages organizations to take a look at the psychological issues facing many of their employees," says Elizabeth Mills, President & CEO, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS). "We applaud the release of this voluntary standard which will contribute to the country's dialogue and improve awareness and understanding so that we can eliminate the stigma associated with mental health and promote actions to support the mental fitness of Canadians."
WSPS is proud to be part of the collaborative expertise that led to the development of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (CSA Z1003), which provides best practices that organizations can apply to ensure they are meeting the necessary qualifications for the care and due diligence of their employees' mental well-being. As a provider of health and safety solutions, WSPS offers first-hand knowledge of best practices and access to industry research and resources to assist companies in addressing organizational risk factors including those that affect workplace mental health.
Workplace mental health statistics have staggering implications for the Canadian economy, costing $51 billion annually. Mental illness accounts for nearly 30 percent of all disability claims in Canada, and is growing at an alarming rate. Mental health in the workplace is a complex issue, but to begin to address it and overcome stigmas, business leaders should consider:
- Modelling healthy behaviours and attitudes by building a supportive and understanding culture that encourages trust and open, honest coversations in their workplaces.
- Educating managers, supervisors and others with leadership roles to better understand workplace mental health and strategies for mental harm and injury prevention.
- Educating employees through training that opens the door to working conditions that are inclusive of workers with mental health challenges and enables them to succeed.
- Promoting accessibility to policies and procedures, flexible arrangements, and adjusted working hours, etc.
- Fostering strong relationships by making it safe to have conversations about mental illness, balancing between support and intrusion; discouraging gossip and checking for understanding.
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) provides industry-specific health and safety products, training and consulting services to 154,000 businesses and 3.9 million employees in Ontario's agricultural, manufacturing and service sectors.
As one of four health and safety associations operating under the Health & Safety Ontario banner, WSPS is a trusted advisor to businesses, large and small, seeking to boost productivity and profitability by reaching zero work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
Previously, you knew us as: Farm Safety Association (FSA), Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA), Ontario Service Safety Alliance (OSSA).
SOURCE: Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
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