Workplace safety and Mental Health

Despite many theories, conclusions and advice, your formal workplace might just be your protection
against poor mental health. Approximately 60% of the world population today has employment and
within this 60%, roughly half of the workforce is in the informal sector where there is no protection
of their health. Besides that, people who are frequently being excluded or rejected from
employment are more likely to suffer from severe mental health issues.

There some aspects that may negatively influence mental health within the workplace. Here are a

  • the under-use of skills or being under-skilled for work
  • long, unsocial or inflexible hours
  • unsafe or poor physical working conditions
  • limited support from colleagues or authoritarian supervision
  • discrimination and exclusion
  • under- or over-promotion in the work force
  • conflicting home/work demands
  • excessive workloads or work pace from understaffing
  • lack of control over job design or workload
  • organizational culture that enables negative behaviours
  • violence, harassments and/or bullying
  • unclear job role
  • job insecurity, inadequate pay or poor investment in career development

The three points mentioned below when implemented, could improve mental health in the working environment:

  • mental health training for employees
  • interventions for individuals
  • manager’s training for mental health

The working environment is a setting in which other wider issues may either amplify or reduce a
negative impact on mental health. In every workplace it is necessary to strengthen work output by
protecting and promoting mental health and to recognize and remedy conditions that may
negatively impact the health of employees. A work environment is a place where every person has
the right to be safe and healthy.