Employers so focused on physical safety that mental health still being overlooked



Employers are still overly focused on safeguarding the physical safety of employees at the cost of overlooking mental wellbeing, with stigma or fear around speaking up still common, the results of a global survey have indicated.

Fifty-two per cent of employees surveyed by safety assurance and certification organisation Lloyd’s Register felt their employer placed more emphasis on physical safety than mental health. Meanwhile, almost half (48%) felt reluctant to raise concerns about their mental wellbeing because they feared it would negatively impact their career.

UK workers were notably reluctant to share their mental health worries, with 23% stating they felt unable to talk to anyone at work about their concerns.

The survey results, contained in a global report on employee wellbeing, also showed that 69% find working from home stressful due to increased workloads and changes to working patterns to meet resource demands.

Twenty-two per cent were working longer hours than before, 17% felt isolated from their colleagues, and 9% felt more anxious than before they worked from home.

One in four said their employer had not provided additional support for their mental health and wellbeing.

James Pomeroy, director of quality, health, environment and safety at Lloyd’s Register, said: “The results concern businesses right around the world and show that more needs to be done to tackle this stigma in working environments.

“Managers should lead by example and talk about their own experiences inside and outside work. By talking and sharing their own concerns and worries, leaders open the door for others to speak about their day-to-day challenges. Creating a safe and inclusive environment will help alleviate concerns that poor mental health will impact job progression.”

Lloyd’s Register surveyed 5,500 people across 11 countries about their experiences of changing working practices during the Covid-19 pandemic.


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