Mental Health Awareness Week: 15 – 21 May 2023

17 May 2023

Work Right to protect workers’ health

Issued: 16 May 2023

Welcome to our monthly ebulletin for May – keeping you up to speed with the latest news, updates and events from our Work Right campaigns.

Mental Health Awareness Week: 15 – 21 May 2023

This week (15 – 21 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme this year, set by the Mental Health Foundation, is anxiety.

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems and can be caused by prolonged stress at work.

A report by Deloitte estimates that the total annual cost of poor mental health to employers has increased by 25% since 2019, costing UK employers up to £56 billion a year.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, the law requires all employers to prevent work-related stress to support good mental health in the workplace by including it in your risk assessment.

HSE’s Working Minds campaign aims to help businesses and workers prevent work-related stress. You can access the following related resources:

HSE’s Talking Toolkit for practical step-by-step guidance in speaking to workers about preventing work-related stress

Dust Kills construction campaign launch

HSE is carrying out a targeted health inspection initiative focusing on the respiratory risks to construction workers from exposure to silica and wood dust. 

How dust is managed on site is a matter of life and death. Construction workers are dying and many more become chronically ill because construction dust can cause serious lung disease. Employers have a legal duty to control dust effectively and protect their workers’ lung health.

The inspection initiative and supporting Dust Kills campaign aim to support industry by raising awareness of health issues in relation to dust exposure and the importance of effective control measures to improve the long-term health of those working in construction.

Inspections run from Monday 15 May – Friday 14 July.

We have advice for employers, workers and small builders to work safely. You can:

Asbestos and You – new quiz and webinar

Two new free resources have been launched to help tradespeople to test and enhance their knowledge about asbestos and the risks associated with it.

Take the quiz and to find out if you know enough to protect yourself and others from exposure to asbestos fibres.

Watch the webinar hosted by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health to get an understanding of the Asbestos and You campaign and hear experts discuss the risks continued to be associated with asbestos, particularly with younger workers.

Asbestos didn’t disappear when it was banned in the UK and remains in many buildings and homes today. For more information, see the Asbestos and You campaign.

New podcast on disability in the workplace

A new HSE podcast discusses how businesses can create an inclusive approach to workplace health.

In November 2022 HSE published new principles and guidance for employers to support disabled workers and workers with long-term health conditions to remain in work.

In the latest episode of the HSE podcast, the simple principles and practical examples are discussed by Moya Woolley (Occupational Health Policy Team Leader at HSE) and Rebecca Hyrslova (Policy Advisor at Federation of Small Businesses). Listen to the Disability in the Workplace podcast