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WORK LIFE - JARGON BUSTER

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What is a healthy workplace?...
What is a healthy workplace?

If this phrase conjures up images of computers surrounded by pot plants and desktop ionizers, you are not far wrong.

Nowadays, a healthy workplace is not just about minimising overt dangers such as asbestos, but extends to our sanitised offices and workstations.

Broadly speaking, it describes a physical environment free from hazards, where healthy lifestyle practices are supported, and the social environment encourages and resources staff to build and maintain wellbeing.

This definition reflects the latest thinking that health is not just about the absence of sickness and disease. It also incorporates a mental and social dimension, and is affected by a number of factors such as stress, lack of work/life balance and the pressure of family commitments.

It is an employer's duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of staff, and other people who might be affected by what they do.

The healthy workplace initiative, a joint scheme between the Department of Health and the Health & Safety Executive, aims to place health issues in the mainstream of business thinking and organisational development.

Selling this idea to employers is relatively easy when you think of the benefits such as improved productivity, fewer accidents and less illness.

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