Annual Day for Workplace Health and Safety

UN Workplace health and safety day serves as a reminder to look after your employees

The United Nations (UN) annual Day for Safety and Health at Work is only a week away. Set for Thursday the 28th of April, the initiative hopes to increase awareness for the importance of reducing health risks in the workplace.

While at work accidents have been on the decline for the last 10 years,  Work Safe New Zealand reports that there were 67 work-related deaths between November 2020 and October 2021 and over 34,000 workplace injuries between May 2020 and April 2020. Workplace safety is and will always be a priority, but maintaining a healthy workforce requires taking a much broader approach.

“Your workforce is one of the greatest assets in your business. Looking after the safety and health of your workforce certainly goes well beyond just accident prevention." Said Dr Warrick Bishop, Australia's foremost preventative cardiologist.

In New Zealand, one in every three deaths is caused by cardiovascular disease and there are around 170,00 people currently living with heart disease. The risk of a heart attack purely from these statistics means that businesses need to be aware of their worker's health. Workers in the growing intermediate-risk group need to be cautioned, as they often have no symptoms at all. All workplaces should have a defibrillator, but this is just a "tow-truck approach." Dr Bishop believes testing for cardiovascular disease should occur in the workplace as a preventative measure.

"If you knew that a good number of your workers are likely to have a work accident, you would put measures in place to prevent these, rather than simply have a first-aid kit on standby."

As an employer, the UN Day for Safety and Health at Work serves as an inspiration to check on your workforce, and specifically their heart health.