Why an Integrated Workplace Safety and Wellness Program Is Best

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset and keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority for any company. Many businesses have a workplace safety program and a wellness program, but the two programs operate independently of one another – but should they? There are some compelling reasons to integrate the two so that employees can benefit from a more global, holistic approach to staying safe and healthy on the job.

To adequately address health and safety issues, companies need to look not only at whether an employee is performing their job safely but whether they’re healthy and fit enough to do their job without a high risk of injury. Issues like obesity, poor physical fitness and inadequate nutrition make it harder for employees to carry out certain tasks in the workplace.

The link between health and safety

According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, people who are obese are at higher risk for occupational health issues and injuries. When obese staff are exposed to chemicals on the job, they’re at higher risk for occupational asthma and heart and lung issues compared to a non-obese person. They’re also at greater risk for ergonomic issues and bio-mechanical problems including carpal tunnel syndrome. If companies focus on workplace safety without addressing the obesity issue, the bigger problem remains. A unified approach that integrates occupational safety measures with wellness initiatives that emphasize good nutrition and weight control provides a more effective solution to the problem.

There’s also the issue of back injuries. Back injuries are one of the most common workplace safety issues, and people who are overweight and physically unfit are at higher risk for injuring their back on the job. Most back injuries occur as a result of lifting objects at work and ergonomic issues. Although it’s not possible to prevent all work-related back problems, integrating wellness with safety by emphasizing regular exercise to strengthen muscles in the lower back can reduce back injuries. Integrating workplace safety and wellness offers a more well-rounded approach to preventing back injuries.

What part does wellness play in safety? Wellness programs that focus on stress reduction, smoking cessation and alcohol and drug-related issues are also important for workplace safety. According to a study published in a Canadian publication called The Daily, smokers are at greater risk for being injured at work compared to non-smokers. Among women, the risk was nearly double. Stress does more than just affect employees psychologically – it increases their risk of being injured on the job. Employees who are under stress at home or at work are distracted and less able to focus on doing their job safely. Integrating stress management into a workplace safety program can help reduce the number of injuries and motivate employees to be more productive. Nutrition is another factor that a workplace safety and wellness program should address. Employees who start their day with only a cup of coffee are more prone to blood sugar drops that can lead to workplace injuries. Good nutrition is an integral part of any safety program.

There’s another benefit of merging wellness and workplace safety. Employees are less likely to participate in programs that address workplace hazards than they are wellness programs that focus on personal benefits. Integrating the two makes it more likely that employees will take part.

The bottom line

Combining workplace safety with wellness has a number of benefits for both employees and employers. Most importantly, it helps to create a safer, healthier and more productive workplace – and that’s something every company should strive for.

New Equity Release Lender More2Life Launches New Products

Signs that the equity release market is beginning to spark into life again, can be evidenced by the re-emergence of a former lender in the market.

More2Life have joined forces with annuity specialist Partnership assurance to re-launch their impaired life roll-up lifetime mortgage plan.

Incorporating an impaired life facility & protected equity guarantee, the More2Life equity release plan can be seen to be opening a niche market for itself. The impaired life facility means that depending on health & lifestyle, a higher than normal tax free lump sum can be achieved, should serious health issues be present.

The More2Life equity release plan has been designed with three scenario’s in mind: -

1. Enhanced plus – industry leading maximum release, impaired life product

2. Enhanced protected – impaired life plan with ‘protected equity guarantee’

3. Protected plan – older applicants looking for a ‘protected equity guarantee’

Pitching the enhanced plus plan at the maximum release end of the market means that should the applicant qualify on medical grounds, they would have the highest lump sum currently available. This would even surpass the current Aviva Lump Sum Max product, although this would be at the expense of a higher interest rate with More2Life.

The following percentages are the maximum releases available on the Enhanced Plus: -

Age 55 23%

Age 60 28%

Age 65 33%

Age 70 38%

Age 80 48%

Age 90+ 54%

For example, an applicant aged 65 with a property valuation of £250,000 & meeting the underwriting criteria, can release a maximum of £82,500 on the enhanced plus plan.

The interest rate for this product will be 7.49% monthly.

The second product – ‘enhanced protected plan’ is also based on health & lifestyle grounds & again can provide an enhanced lump sum. However, to qualify for this equity release scheme the health situation will not be a serious as the enhanced plus. The interest rate for this plan is lower at 6.99% monthly.

Another feature of this plan is the ‘protected equity guarantee’ which is included & guarantees a percentage of the property for the children/beneficiaries on the eventual sale of the property.

The guarantee works as follows: -

Should the overall facility available be £80,000, yet only £40,000 is taken, then 50% of the final sale value will be protected on sale.

This can be an essential tool for applicants who wish to ensure that a guaranteed inheritance is passed onto their children.

The final option is the ‘protected plan’ which has no impaired life facility, but does include the protected equity guarantee. The interest rate is the same as the enhanced protected at 6.99% monthly.

The challenges of software outsourcing

Are you looking to outsource your software development needs? You’re not alone – the global software outsourcing market is valued at over [$92.5 billion] But with such a massive industry comes a host of hidden costs and unexpected challenges. Sure, cost reduction is a big motivator for outsourcing, but what about the hurdles you might encounter?

Let’s take a deep dive into the common pitfalls of outsourcing and offer dynamic solutions to help you overcome them. We’ll also show you why offshore development may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Outsourcing vs offshoring
Outsourcing – yes, the operational costs are relatively low, but hiring contractors for one-off projects through third parties can be a headache.

Offshoring is the key to achieving long-term goals with committed staff and highly skilled software engineers. But let’s face it; the cost can be a concern.

The common problems with outsourcing
Quantity over quality
Looking to outsource to save on costs? The trade-off may not always be worth it. With outsourced engineers juggling multiple clients, quality can suffer, and their priorities may not align with yours. The result? A project that only partially reflects your company’s vision or needs.

A lack of control over ‘your’ team
Third-party vendors often hire independent contractors outside your team, making it challenging to oversee their work and communicate with your internal team. Keep your projects on track and maintain communication by choosing a more reliable solution.

Undisclosed and hidden costs
Don’t let hidden expenses sabotage your software outsourcing plans. While outsourcing can save on employment costs, be wary of hidden fees that can impact the quality of your software. Cutting corners with your budget can ultimately result in lower-quality software and missed deadlines.

Data loss and theft
Outsourcing software development can be a double-edged sword. While it can help reduce costs and expand your team’s capabilities, it also poses risks such as data loss, cybersecurity threats, and intellectual property theft. Protecting sensitive data and ensuring that your team has proper security measures is crucial to prevent any breaches.

Cultural differences
When working with an outsourced team, it’s important to remember that they’re temporary workers who may not fully understand your company’s values or way of doing things. Bridging the culture gap between your internal and external teams can be tricky, but it’s important for successful collaboration.

Legal disputes
It’s not always a lack of technical skills that causes disagreements – often, communication issues get in the way. To ensure your software meets contract requirements, your developers need strong English skills to clearly articulate their work’s scope. Don’t overlook the importance of effective communication in software development – it’s crucial for project success.

Why is offshore development different?
Offshoring prioritises team culture over cost, letting your company’s individuality flourish. This model can provide numerous benefits, including access to a larger pool of skilled professionals, lower labour costs, increased flexibility in staffing resources, and the ability to scale up or down as needed. Additionally, offshoring allows your company to focus on the core competencies while leaving other tasks to specialised professionals.

Trustworthy offshore partners like The Scalers are transparent about costs, handle legal and administrative duties, and ensure their culture aligns with yours.With access to top-tier tech specialists, they can manage screening on your behalf and prioritise security with state-of-the-art firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware defences, and regular software updates. Don’t settle for less – partner with the right offshore team to take your business to new heights!

Key takeaways to keep in mind:
Offshoring can solve many issues outsourcing can’t
In-house developers are involved in offshoring and work solely for your business
Offshore developers are committed to your company’s success and fully align with your mission and projects
A reliable offshore partner will oversee recruitment with an established method, manage your operations and HR functions, and assist you in expanding