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World Health Day: International SOS urges prioritisation of positive safety and health work culture

by Madaline Dunn

On World Health Day, International SOS called for organisations to move beyond compliance and cultivate a positive working environment that prioritises safety and health.

Annual health-related productivity losses arising from poor employee health cost employers USD 530 billion globally, according to WEF estimates. Further, millions of occupational accidents and work-related illnesses are reported worldwide each year.

However, the organisation shared that preventative health programmes can help minimise these impacts. 

The International SOS Foundation commissioned report, The Return on Prevention, revealed that organisations can expect a return of USD 2.53 for every dollar invested in such programmes. 

It also noted that fostering employee wellbeing strengthens talent acquisition and retention, with 82 per cent of global risk professionals acknowledging its critical role.

International SOS offers five key strategies organisations can implement to enhance employee health and wellbeing:

  • Develop a comprehensive health and wellness programme that provides the necessary health information and resources, including access to health screenings, educational workshops, and mental health support.
  • Cultivate a healthy work culture that prioritises health and wellbeing. Here, companies should encourage regular breaks, and provide physical activity opportunities and healthy food options within the workplace.
  • Offer flexible work arrangements, which it said can empower employees to manage their work-life balance more effectively and reduce stress.
  • Provide access to Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and confidential counselling services.
  • Invest in training for managers, empowering them to identify and address employee wellbeing concerns effectively.

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