A new report by the British Safety Council (BSC) and Robertson Cooper – a business psychology firm – has examined health and safety in the workplace. The Future Risk report, published on 21st February 2018, states how employers need to look at creating different employee wellbeing strategies for the future as health and wellbeing risks will not be the same as they are today.
The report urges employers to examine whether their health and wellbeing programmes will meet the future needs of their workforce. Employers should start to look at improving future skills and also, theirs and their employee’s understanding of the dangers of new technologies and artificial intelligence.
To mitigate technology risks from arising in the future, the BSC has urged regulatory systems to be updated and renewed to protect workers. Working alongside robotics may cause employees to stress because they will not understand how to work with them efficiently. Also, the artificial intelligence may outperform humans which puts pressure on them because they can do their job better than them.
Updating and renewing the regulatory systems will protect workers because they will be provided with wellbeing programmes and specialist training to help them work with new technologies in the workplace.
The report recommends that HR professionals can help workers through promoting resilience and ways to reduce stress in their training. This will be beneficial to workers because it helps them get to grips with working with robotics, as it will be challenging. HR professionals can also test wellbeing schemes and new working arrangements with workers and trade unions to see if they are necessary and needed.
Founder of Robertson Cooper, Professor Cary Cooper, stated: “Although employers recognised that workplace was changing, they understood less about the risks this might pose to staff health and wellbeing”. He believes organisations need to plan ahead and think about health and wellbeing strategies. This will help them to be prepared for the future.
The report shows that having policies at work will ensure work is healthy, safe, and rewarding. New technologies can also enable older workers to stay healthier for longer and can improve employee’s self-determination. This shows that planning for the future will be beneficial to all businesses.
A section of the report also suggests the Government can do more to protect gig workers concerning their health and wellbeing. This follows the claims of the Good Work plan not achieving their aim of improving gig economy workers’ rights.
Head of campaigns at the British Safety Council, Matthew Holder, announced: “At a time when work is rapidly changing, whether through technological innovation or types of employment, there is an urgent need to have a more strategic view on what research says about the future of work and risk, and how these two issues are related”.
If you need any advice or have any questions regarding health and wellbeing strategies, please contact a member of the HPC team:
T: 0844 800 5932