Workplace health and safety involves body and mind

Cole Carruthers
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With an aging population people are continuing to stay longer in the workforce. This fact, along with better understanding and medical advancements towards mental health, employers need to continue striving to offer a healthy work environment for all.

Luckily, the federal government is tackling the ongoing issue. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) announced Thursday it will adopt a new national standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace.

The platform was officially unveiled on Jan. 16, which included the CCOHS using the lessons learned from implementing its own internal mental health program to develop a case study. It will be available to Canadian employers who wish to implement the standards in their own workplaces.

“We are pleased to adopt the new Standard and use its guidelines to launch our own internal program for employees,” said Steve Horvath, president and CEO at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. “Our hope is that the standard will lead to a culture of greater understanding and compassion for workers’ individual mental health needs, and give employers a better framework for implementing a psychological health and safety program in their own workplaces.”

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), “one in five Canadians will suffer from a mental disorder at some point in their lifetime. The Conference Board of Canada estimated in a July, 2012, report that the economic impact of mental illness among working-aged Canadians could rise to $29.1 billion annually by 2030.”

In related news, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt spoke on Wednesday to attendees at the Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) annual scientific meeting and Arthritis Health Professions Association (AHPA) annual meeting. Raitt talked about the government’s commitment to healthier, safer workplaces.

For more on this article pick up the next issue of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, CCOHS, Canadian Mental Health Association Canadian Rheumatology Association Arthritis Health Professions Association Conference Board of Canada Times-Herald

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