It is your legal duty to care for your people’s health and safety at work. While the most pressing issue is normally to reduce the risk of physical injury in the workplace, you need to safeguard their mental health as well.
Mental health issues can reduce productivity and increase absenteeism at work. So it will benefit you to protect employees from stress and mental health issues. There can be legal consequences as well, as it is your duty of care to look after your employees.
One way you can reduce workplace stress and mental health is through risk assessments. Here you identify the risks posed towards the employee and help mitigate them.
Let’s look at how a workplace mental health risk assessment template can help you and your people thrive.
Why use a mental health risk assessment?
With increasing pressures for the average employee inside and outside of work, UK businesses are facing higher levels of absenteeism and presenteeism than previously. Not only that, but when they are at work, employers are experiencing less productive employees.
One issue is mental health. Evidence continues to grow about the negative impacts of poor mental health at work.
According to the mental health at work 2018 report, three in five UK employees have had mental health issues due to work. The study shows that poor mental wellbeing caused by stress, depression and anxiety, accounts for a very high proportion of sickness absences in the UK.
The study shows the business benefits of higher productivity and talent retention, that a robustly implemented wellbeing strategy can bring. The emphasis should be on prevention.
This is where a risk assessment comes in.
How to use the mental health risk assessment form template
Every business is unique and will have distinct challenges. This is especially apparent during the COVID-19 crisis, with a huge number of employees working from home and facing social isolation.
We have created a template that you can customise for your business. You follow the steps below and fill in the template.
Step one: Identify the stress at work risk factors
There is an initial assessment. This can be of the business, a team or an individual. How you collect this data is up to you. It can be through questions with the individual(s), workplace surveys, or through an occupational health service.
Step two: Put the issues into categories
The HSE Management Standards have already identified six key stress factors in the workplace. These form the basis of our risk assessment template.
If you don’t manage the factors below, it can cause lower productivity and increase sickness absence rates. The factors are:
- Role: whether people understand their role and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles
- Demands: including issues such as work patterns, workload, and the work environment
- Control: how much say the person has in the way they do their work
- Relationships: this includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour
- Support: including encouragement, sponsorship and the resources provided by the organisation
- Change: how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation
Step three: Decide on the action you will take
Now you have identified and categorised the issues, you will need to decide what you will do to address them.
The action you take will depend on the context, from organisations or individuals. If it is addressing teams or the wider business, senior management and the HR team may be required. For an individual, a meeting and action plan can be enough.
Step four: Assign responsibility
Now you have decided on the actions you will take, you assign the action to an appropriate team member. This can be a line manager, team member, HR or senior management.
Step five: Monitor and review the risk assessment
Risks can change over time or with a change to the workplace. This makes it essential to review and undertake new risk assessments when things change or after a period.
As well as this, you must monitor any actions. This will be to assess the effectiveness of them, which will inform any future assessments.
Get help from Health Assured with mental health
Itis your responsibility to look after your employee’s wellbeing at work. If you don’t, you will face legal consequences, see your best employees leave and experience decreased productivity.
Having wellbeing resources, such as an EAP, you can support your employee’s wellbeing and keep productivity high. We also have a new wellbeing app to make it easier for your employees.
Want to find out more? Book a free consultation with one of our wellbeing consultants. Call 0844 891 0353 for ideas on promoting health and wellbeing at work.
Download or call us 0800 206 2532