Workplace health and why employers should act
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Workplace health and why employers should act



Presentation from meetings with employers on workforce health and links to productivity

Presentation from meetings with employers on workforce health and links to productivity



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Workplace health and why employers should act Workplace health and why employers should act Presentation Transcript

  • Health, productivity and employers: public health approaches bring competitive workforces Jim McManus, CPsychol, CSci, AFBPsS, FFPH, FRSPH, MCIPD Director of Public Health
  • The Problem • Increasing non-communicable disease – Smoking, obesity • Increasing mental ill health • Increasing sickness absence • Increasing loss to business productivity and performance from sick pay • Avoidable cost of managing and replacing sick and absent staff
  • Where’s the evidence? Established relationship between lifestyle related risk factors (smoking, inactivity, obesity) and productivity absenteeism and health claims. • (Buron et al,2005, Wellsource, 2006 & University of Michigan, 2006)
  • What is the root issue? • There is a flow from low risk to high risk to disease for the working age population • This leads to: • Diseases of lifestyle • More risk, more absence • Compound risk, compound absence • Low productivity
  • What does this mean for you as employers? • Chronic disease related deaths account for 56% of all deaths in the working-age population in the world (World Health Organization). • High prevalence of major modifiable health risks contributes to the epidemic of chronic disease. – Elevated BMI (BMI ≥25kg/m2) Obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) – Inactivity Smoking – Stress Elevated blood pressure – Elevated cholesterol High blood sugar – Alcohol • Places an increasing burden on employers: decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, increased health and worker’s compensation claims.
  • The upshot of this unless we do something is that 2/3 of people will be in chronic ill health or disability before age 68, the new retirement age
  • And Hertfordshire shows the same pattern!
  • Why should you care? • You’re paying for it • The do-nothing strategy of waiting for sickness and then paying for treatment isn’t cost neutral – it costs you • Lifestyle related risk factors and behaviours of employees as well as unhealthy work environments and practices drive costs. • High risk employees incur high costs whatever the outcome measure: pharmaceutical, absenteeism, compensation costs or productivity. • Now I’m going to prove it….
  • Productivity Decreases with Number of Health Risks Excess Productivity Loss Productivity Loss (%) Base Cost Number of Health Risks (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2005;47:769-77 (n = 28,375))
  • Absenteeism Increases with Number of Health Risks Number of Health Risks (Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2005;47:769-77 (n = 28,375)) Base work loss days/yr Excess Work Loss days/yr work loss days/yr
  • Work done for Herts by economists at Example: Smoking costs in Herts • total annual cost in Hertfordshire £45,972,899 – NHS Treatment and Care costs: £32,429,375 – Costs to businesses (productivity losses): £12,931,914 – Passive smoking costs: £598,947 (adults: £425,607; children: £173,340)
  • Root causes One of the root causes of unsustainable increases in costs is natural flow of individuals from low risk → high risk →disease →higher employer costs natural flow estimated at 2% - 4% per year. • (Edington et al, 2009).
  • What can be done • An effective Workplace Wellness strategy is to stop migration of people to higher risk and keep low risk people at low risk. • • Employers costs go up as people age, regardless of their health risk status and as health risk status gets worse, costs go up regardless of age.
  • NICE Business Case 1: Gross Savings • Worked example - for a company with 300 employees earning average £8.20/hr Average no. of days sickness absence Total no. of days sickness absence Hours per day Total annual cost £ % reduction in sickness absence Total annual savings £ 8.4 2520 7.5 154,980 20% -30,996 On average, sickness absence costs employers 8.4 working days per employee per year (Chartered Institute of Personal Development 2007a). Physical activity programmes at work have been found to reduce absenteeism by up to 20%; physically active workers take 27% fewer sick days (Health, Work and Wellbeing Programme 2008).
  • Nice Business Case 2: Interventions Examples of Interventions Cost per employee £ % of employees taking part Total Cost £ Health champion/coordinator NA 100% 3,000 Health check 35 100% 10,500 Pedometer challenge 20 50% 3,000 Lunchtime walks 10 50% 1,500 Workplace travel plans 10 100% 3,000 Activity classes 50 30% 4,500 Social events 100 30% 9,000 Discounted local gym membership 100 30% 9,000 Team days - estimated 20 100% 6,000 Signs and posters NA 100% 200 Booklets, leaflets and promotional material 2 100% 600 Total Cost £50,300
  • NICE Business Case 3: Net Savings Total quantifiable benefits -45,024 Total costs 50,300 Total costs 5,277
  • Interventions with Gold Standard Evidence (Systematic Reviews) • Musculoskeletal disorders – education about stress management, principles of ergonomics, anatomy, musculoskeletal disorders, and the importance of physical activity. – 'pause gymnastics', how to use a relaxed work posture, proper positioning, the importance of rest breaks, and strategies to improve relaxation. – Some studies also included how to modify work tasks, work load, working techniques, working positions, and working hours. – adjustments and recommended alternatives to the existing furniture and equipment at the workplace.
  • Interventions with Gold Standard Evidence (Systematic Reviews) • Standing workers and vein problems • flexible working interventions that increase worker control and choice (such as self-scheduling or gradual/partial retirement) are likely to have a positive effect on health outcomes • Smoking Cessation • Healthy weight management • Stopping movement from low – high risk - disease
  • Healthy Herts • County Council Programme • Reduced Sickness Absence • Increased Health Offer including smoking cessation, gym, physical activity, emotional wellbeing, roll out of alternatives to Lifts • Nominated for two awards • Will be rolled out further
  • Coming soon • Hertfordshire workplace health offer for employers • Online tools for behaviour change and mental wellbeing • First six Herts major commercial Employers already engaged • Working closely with Business in the Community as key partner
  • 2011 Census – Hertfordshire Projected Population Change
  • Hertfordshire percentage projected population change 2010 to 2035 Age Group Percentage Change All persons - 0-4 6.89 All persons - 5-9 21.27 21.27 All persons - 10-14 24.04 All persons - 15-19 18.36 All persons - 20-24 13.32 All persons - 25-29 13.56 All persons - 30-34 11.68 All persons - 35-39 8.35 All persons - 40-44 9.49 All persons - 45-49 11.91 All persons - 50-54 20.83 All persons - 55-59 25.24 All persons - 60-64 20.16 All persons - 65-69 59.04 All persons - 70-74 69.54 All persons - 75-79 51.01 All persons - 80-84 53.82 All persons - 85-89 102.96 All persons - 90+ 231.33
  • Thank you!