HSE manufacturing eBulletin: 11 May 2022

31 May 2022

Make UK has joined HSE's Working Minds campaign as an official partner to raise awareness of how to prevent work-related stress and encourage good mental health in manufacturing.

Research by Make UK has revealed that businesses which prioritise the wellbeing of their employees see a dramatic reduction in absenteeism, retain their staff for longer and see a boost in productivity.

Working Minds is aimed specifically at supporting small businesses by providing employers and workers with easy to implement advice, including simple steps based on risk assessment to Reach out, Recognise, Respond, Reflect, and make it Routine.

Jamie Cater, Senior Policy Manager at Make UK, the manufacturers organisation said: “Britain’s manufacturers have come on in leaps and bounds in terms of the importance they give to the wellbeing and mental health of their employees.

“Our latest survey showed that those companies which had put in place good and strong wellbeing programmes were being rewarded with less absenteeism, higher productivity and had staff who stayed with the company for much longer. This payback on investment in people is now embedded in manufacturing companies. Without doubt the pandemic accelerated the need to provide good programmes to promote wellbeing at a time workers were under unprecedented pressures.”

Alison Wellens, interim head of Health and Work Branch at HSE, says: “We’re delighted to have our new campaign partners on board to champion Working Minds in manufacturing. They will play an important role in sharing key information as well as provide essential insight into the unique stressors experienced by people working in the industry as we continue to evolve our campaign.

“We are calling for a culture change across Britain’s workplaces where managing stress and talking about how people are coping is as routine as managing workplace safety. A recent Deloitte report estimates the total annual cost of poor mental health to employers has increased by 25% since 2019. Adding up to around £53-56 billion between 2020-21.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (9 - 15 May 2022), the manufacturer’ organisation launched a podcast series. Across six episodes former BBC Business Editor Jonty Bloom interviews companies and experts, from large companies to SMEs on the importance of mental health.

Jamie added: “Going forwards, it is clear that wellbeing and mental health remains a key issue and is now a part of the majority of business plans for our member companies and we hope this podcast series will give companies some new ideas and inspire them to continue on this vital journey to deliver the very best staff wellbeing.”

In the series of podcasts, you can hear from:

• Chloe Smith MP, Minister for Disabled people, Health and Work

• Andrew Ward, Make UK’s Health, Safety and Sustainability Director

• Rachel Newman, Head of People, Policy & Support The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

• Dr Shaun Lundy, Director for Strategy & Innovation, Tetra Consultancy

Access the podcast series here

You can stay up to date on with the Working Minds campaign by:

 signing up to our monthly e-bulletin

 becoming a champion to support the campaign

Written by: RW

Copyright: HSE