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The importance of mental health and wellbeing in manufacturing

In recent years manufacturers have realised that to keep the highly skilled staff that they have trained and invested in, it is vital to look after the ‘whole person’ and their wellbeing. No longer is it enough to provide good working facilities and a nice canteen, the mental wellbeing of every employee is business-critical.

As we have seen in previous years of surveying manufacturers, physical illness remains the most common reason for long-term absence and the second most common reason for short-term absence. Physical health has always been spoken about a lot more in the manufacturing workplace, given exposure to dust, noise, vibration and the like.

What is less commonly voiced is mental health. Yet an increasing number of companies cite this as a reason for short-term absence and long-term absence.

In addition, stress is cited as one of the two main reasons for both short- and long-term absence respectively.

If there were ever a time to explore sickness absence in the manufacturing workplace, it is now. Nobody could have predicted the events of the past 18 months and the effect it has had. We explore the increasing importance of mental health in this paper.

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