Wellness & Well-being Highlights
Week of May 28, 2023
This week’s edition of our Worker Wellness & Well-being blog consists of topics from why one’s mental health can impact her/his body’s aging to how scientists are applying COVID-related research techniques to help identify drug misuse in communities to the pros and cons of retiring abroad. Today, I wish to shed some light on the issue of industries across the board insisting that OSHA treat the mental health aspects of safety in the workplace with the same level of care that they currently require for the physical aspects of safety. Recently, a major contractor took a stand on this very issue in spite of OSHA’s claim that these hazards “are outside the agency’s purview for providing a safe workplace.” Hopefully, the research about to get underway on psychological safety in the construction industry will help provide additional evidence to move OSHA from a passive stance to an active approach to mental health. Focusing only on the physical aspects of safety is a half-hearted strategy to keeping workers safe. After all, people do not leave their personal baggage at the time clock. What more needs to be considered? It is no secret that: 1) Illegal drug use exists on the job (white- and blue-collar); and 2) Addiction is a brain disease. As May (Mental Health Month) comes to a close, let’s commit to making mental health in the workplace an everyday issue not unlike requiring tool guards, masks, and hearing & eye protection. If our workers truly are our most valuable asset, then why are we waiting to include at least a 1-hour segment addressing these mental health “hazards” in our OSHA-10 and OSHA-30 courses?
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