Looking after Health and Safety together
Safety is everyone's concern - both employers and employees have the responsibility to look after health and safety in the workplace.
A survey by Labour Force shows that 30.4 million working days were lost in the UK in 2015-2016 through sickness. That's 25.9 million days due to work-related illness and 4.5 million days due to workplace injury. With this is mind, we are making staff health a priority. Follow the links below to find out how small changes could help you boost your happiness, health and productivity in the workplace.
- Energise Your Work Day
Everybody experiences a lag in productivity from time to time. Whatever the cause, keep reading to find out how small changes could help you boost happiness, health and productivity in the workplace.
Take a break
Making time for short breaks at work could make all the difference to your day. Heavy workloads, deadlines and hours sat at a desk, not only affect your mental performance but your physical health too. Taking small amounts of time out from your work can help both your mind and body to relax and renew your sense of enthusiasm and energy.
- Avoid sitting at your computer for long periods of time. No matter how fit you are, sitting for more than an hour at a time raises your risk of heart failure, diabetes and obesity.
- Look after your eyes.When you are at your workstation look into the distance from time to time to rest your eyes.
- Try conducting a meeting while walking, standing or even exercising!Methods such as this let you brainstorm, refresh and build relationships while taking care of business.
- Can't get away from your desk? Try these stretches.
Fuel your mind and body
The food that you eat has a real impact on how you feel during the work day. For example, if we don't eat regular well-balanced meals or drink enough water, we may get headaches, feel sluggish, or have difficulty concentrating.
- Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood.Some foods such as caffeine, sugar and refined carbs can give you a spike in energy, but this is often followed by a crash in mood and energy.
- Try to eat a balanced diet with slow-release energy foods packed with fibre, protein, vitamins and complex carbohydrates instead.
- Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost and prevent heart disease.The best sources are oily fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel), seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts.
- Stay hydrated.The government recommends at least 6-8 glasses every day.
- Need some inspiration? Read Rowett Institute's recipe books: Oat and Barley and Stovies Reloaded
Make time for regular exercise
Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a “silent killer”. So when you are feeling the pressure take a quick break and physically move away from a stressful situation.
NHS recommend that adults should try to be active daily and achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week to stay healthy. The easiest way to get started is to make activity part of everyday life, like walking or cycling instead of using a car or bus to get around. More vigourous exercise—activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat—is a hugely effective way to lift your mood, increase energy and sharpen focus.
- get fit your way - break up activity into shorter segments to fit into your schedule
- the University provides free off-peak memberships for Aberdeen Sports Village to all its employees
- the University of Aberdeen Sport and Exercise Team are dedicated to encouraging participation, enjoyment and mastery in sport and exercise
The Health & Safety Executive define stress as 'the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them'. While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can be damaging and negatively impact your job satisfaction. You can't control everything at work and there is little you can do to prevent stress but you can manage stress effectively. Explore the resources below:
- Reverse Parking
Driver safety should not stop in the parking lot - parking lots can be hazardous places, they are frequently used by pedestrians which increases the risk of accidents. Parking in reverse is a simple way to make the environment safer when a driver leaves a parking space. When reverse parking, a driver is going into a known space with no vehicle or pedestrian traffic. When leaving the parking space, the driver is able to see the surroundings more clearly.
Simply put, by reverse parking a driver avoids backing out into oncoming traffic or into the path of pedestrians, therefore reducing the risk of accidents and potentially saving a life.
Parking Safety Tips
- Stay alert and scan the area
- Look for pedestrians
- Drive slowly - obey the posted speed limits and signs
- Avoid driving in to park so that you will have to reverse out with obscured vision. Reversing into a parking spot will allow you to drive out.
- Reverse slowly, turn your head, use your mirrors and check both sides. Look back and continue to look back whilst moving in reverse.
- Take the Stairs
Step up to health
While most of us think of exercise as vigorous sport, everyday activities like walking and stair climbing are great ways to burn calories, build endurance, strengthen the legs and improve health over time. Take the stairs whenever you can; begin modestly and add more as you improve. Remember to use the railing for balance and security.
What are the benefits?