Employers are being encouraged to start 2009 with a resolution to keep their staff healthy.

That is the advice issued by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), which has suggested that employers should look to promote a “good safety culture” and encourage a healthy work life balance.

According to the IOSH, keeping employees fit and healthy at work is a “good business investment” because workers are less likely to need time off from ill health and will be more productive.

Nattasha Freeman, IOSH’s president, said that companies should: “Help to reduce stress on staff by setting reasonable deadlines and work demands and promoting good communication.”

Clamping down on workplace bullying and creating opportunities to enjoy a healthy lifestyle are two other suggestions from the ISOH for helping to improve staff morale and health and safety in the workplace.

Allowing more flexible working and encouraging staff to walk or cycle to work have also been put forward as ideas by the ISOH.