What is a Healthy Workplace
A workplace can only be considered healthy if three key elements/avenues of influence are addressed:
- The Physical Environment:
Addressing "traditional" health and safety legislation requirements
- Personal Health Resources:
Supporting healthy lifestyle practices
- The Organizational Culture:
Creating the right psychosocial work environment
These three elements of a healthy workplace influence/impact one another. For a workplace health strategy to be effective, each avenue of influence must be addressed in an integrated, comprehensive manner. Health and safety measures, lifestyle-related programs, and a positive culture that supports these initiatives and employees' psychosocial needs are imperative to a healthy workplace.
What the law says
The Occupational Health and Safety Act, which gives the Government of Ontario broad powers to make regulations, sets out general principles and duties for the workplace parties. The regulations set out in detail how these duties are to be carried out. Many regulations have been made under the Act. For example, there are four separate safety regulations that apply to industrial establishments, construction sites, mines, and health care facilities.
Employers, supervisors, owners and constructors, among others, have an obligation to know and comply with the regulations that apply to their workplaces. Contact your health and safety provider for the specifics on the regulations that cover your workplace.
How having a healthy workplace program can help your business
There is data linking healthy workplace strategies to:
- Absenteeism and turnover
- Accidents, illness, levels of stress and depression
- Insurance claims and costs
- Use of short- and long-term disability
- Health and safety performance
- Employee satisfaction
- Employee engagement
Three things are clear:
- Unhealthy, unsafe and stressful workplaces are costing Canadian employers billions of dollars annually
- Workplace interventions can make significant improvements and save at least 20% of these costs
- Comprehensive, healthy workplace interventions cost far less than they are likely to save the company, returning between $1.15 and $8 for every dollar spent on developing healthy workplaces. Some effective interventions are virtually free.
Source: Creating Healthy Workplaces, 2006
What you can do
- "Gain commitment" from your management and other key stakeholders
- "Do a needs assessment" by identifying health and safety performance issues, compiling a list of existing organizational activities that support a healthy workplace approach, conduct interviews and/or focus groups, and administer a needs assessment survey with employees
- "Analyze the results" of the needs assessment and develop a summary of recommendations
- "Develop a workplace health plan" that clarifies your healthy workplace goals and objectives for the next three to five years; identify success/evaluation criteria, and develop a healthy workplace policy/standard
- "Develop program action plan" that help guide the planning and implementation of culture change activities; provide supervisor and employee training
- "Review and evaluate" your plan and tools, and identify opportunities for improvement and celebration/recognition
How WSPS can help
Required Health & Safety Awareness Training
Sign up for required OHSA training. All workplaces in Ontario that are covered under the OHSA act must ensure workers and supervisors have completed a basic H&S training program:
- Health & Safety Awareness for Ontario Workers (1-hour eCourse)
- Health & Safety Awareness for Ontario Supervisors (1-hour eCourse)
Free Online Mental Health Courses
- Workplace Violence and Harassment (40-minute eCourse FREE)
- Psychological Health and Safety (20-minute eCouse, FREE)
- Reducing Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace (30-minute eCourse, FREE)
Visit our Workplace Mental Health Training collection page to view additional courses like Stress In the Workplace or Dealing with Difficult or Hostile Customers .
Hazards Training - Online Courses
Whether for yourself or others, this training is online and self-paced.
Ensure Workers Know How to Work Safely
Take advantage of these great solutions to help supervisors train workers.
- WHMIS 2015 Online Training (1 hour Self-paced eCourse)
- Personal Protective Equipment: The Basics (1- hour online awareness training)
- Preventing Hearing Loss from Workplace Noise (1-hour eCourse)
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods (10.5- hours eCourse)
- Compressed Gases (1.5 hour awareness eCourse)
- Electrical Hazards (1-hour awareness eCourse)
- Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) Prevention Awareness (1-hour awareness training)
- Manual Material Handling (1-hour eCourse)
- Office Ergonomics (1-hour eCourse)
Fall Protection & Working from Heights
- Ladder Safety Course (1-hour eCourse)
- Preventing Slips Trips and Falls (1-hour eCourse)
- Working from Heights: An Introduction (1-hour awareness eCourse)
- Quiet quitting: why it happens and 6 ways to prevent it
- What does workplace mental health have to do with you? Everything.
- Managers Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
- Change-making mental health conversations: 9 tactics for encouraging frank, open talk
- 6 ways to boost mental health through greater job control
- Psychological Safety Blog: What you can learn from the quiet quitting phenomenon