Winter Is Coming

14 December 2017

Time to plan
With the nights being fair drawn in, many people will suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which has a detrimental impact on morale and mental wellbeing.  The festive season is usually associated with good times, parties and indulgence but, not everyone enjoys this time of year.

Employers should consider what support mechanisms they can offer to motivate and encourage staff with their physical and mental wellbeing.

Outdoor workers will be more subject to the health and safety risks associated with adverse weather conditions.  In Scotland, these can be challenging all year round but, in winter the darker mornings and nights can have a greater risk.

Providing appropriate PPE is necessary to ensure all workers are protected from the elements and consideration should be given to those particularly subject to wind, rain and cold.

Did you know that 77% of flu carriers don’t display any symptoms at all?  Pressures of work, targets and expectations placed on staff can result in presenteeism where they feel forced to come to work when unwell.  When someone isn’t given sufficient time to rest and recuperate, it can result in a very lengthy recover period or relapse and take much longer to return to full health.  There is also a significant risk that colleagues will become infected and rather than having one person off for a few days, a whole team need a total of weeks off.

Keeping the office temperature comfortable is key, a minimum of 16’C is recommended by Government guidelines but, it also shouldn’t be too hot which would support the growth and spread of bacteria.