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BOHS Report Says Scotland has Britain’s Highest Rates of Work-Related Mental Ill-Health

BOHS Report Says Scotland has Britain’s Highest Rates of Work-Related Mental Ill-Health
14 September 2023

The British Occupational Hygiene Society has reported that Scotland’s rate of workplace ill-health is growing at a greater rate than any other part of the UK.

Scotland has the worst workplace mental ill-health prevalence in the UK – one in three Scottish workers has their mental health worsened by work.

The Office for National Statistics estimates that 1 in 20 Scottish workers feels that work causes ill-health or makes their overall health worse.

The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) argues that, as a human-created environment, the workplace is somewhere where we should be able to most easily prevent illness. This would have a knock-on positive effect by reducing direct health costs and the need for informal social care.


No Data on Work Impact on Women’s Health in Scotland


In a meeting to launch the report at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 14 September, BOHS will urge MSPs to ask why the Scottish Government is not measuring the impacts of workplace health, especially as it affects women disproportionately. Data shows that women across the UK are carrying the burden of work-induced illness, although Scotland does not collect or publish data on the impact of work on Scottish women’s health.


Green Energy Production Poses a Health Risk to Workers


The report also points out that new industries engaged in the production of green energy involve new risks to worker’s health:

“Solar and battery technologies require the handling of highly toxic and novel materials in employer contexts where there is limited workplace representation and in the UK where there is limited regulator expertise in recommending the controls needed to keep workers safe.

“Different fuel sources, ranging from Green Ammonia through to Wood Pellets, are likely to be imported, stored or produced in Scotland.

“Green energy sources are not necessarily healthy ones for those who produce, handle or use them in energy production. While wind farms do not emit greenhouse gases, the health risk of poorly controlled welding fumes alone, associated with their manufacture and installation, is an area of deep concern to us.”

Picture: a photograph of two people seated in conversation, one writing in a notebook on their lap. Image Credit: Pexels

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 September 2023


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