The importance of a healthy workplace cannot be underestimated. The reason for this is that health employees are an asset for any organization. When employees are healthy, they are more productive, and can easily channel their energies to the work at hand. Using this explanation as a foundation, this post will show why health at work is an important facet of running organizations in Australia.
What does the term healthy workplace mean?
A healthy workplace is one that motivates its staff to engage in healthy choices for the purposes of enhancing overall great health. Such a workplace brings together both the employer and employee in an endeavor to enable the company as a team, support healthy practices.
For most employers however, confusion arises from the important role played by workplace health and safety regulations. To make this clear, it is important to acknowledge that while these regulations play a fundamental role in the daily running of the organization, they do not supplant the needs for a healthy workplace.
To put this in perspective for Australian workers, the law states succinctly that health at the workplace is crucial. According to Section 19(1) of the Work Health ;and Safety Act 2011, anyone with a business is obligated to make sure that his workers are both healthy and safe while within the work premises. This means that as an employer, one is tasked with providing a sound working environment as well as adequate training as is imperative to protecting all employees from health and safety risks. This also requires employers to offer sound systems of work, whether they be machines, vehicles or plants.
Why is it important to create a healthy working environment?
As aforementioned, health at work is required of employers by law under the Australian constitution. This is also vital because the health of Australian workers is important in improving productivity and efficiency. Not only is this important from a legal perspective, it is also business 101.
A number of studies that have been carried out have shown that healthy Australian workers are twice as productive as their not-so healthy counterparts. They also tend to be more engaged, and are more passionate about what they do. On the flip side, their colleagues who are not as healthy often skipped work days due to a myriad of illnesses and injuries.
The latter group was also predisposed to diseases that emerged from lifestyle conditions such as obesity, excessive intake of alcohol, chronic smoking as well as the inability to workout. This sedentary lifestyle has been shown to be a direct cause of productivity and rampant absenteeism. By addressing the importance of a healthy working environment, Australian companies are better placed to benefit from the employees’ health.
How do Australian firms enforce health at the workplace?
There are several ways to go about enforcing health at the workplace. These methods range from budget programs to more intricate and costly programs. The similarity between any of the approaches used is that for the program to be successful, there has to be a consistent system of getting feedback and making improvements.
By creating a program that offers a road map for the plan, action and review of health at work, companies in Australia can easily sustain a healthy program to ensure long-term benefits. More importantly, different organizations have different structures, and therefore different needs. This makes it important to create a tailor-made program in accordance to the Australian constitution.