Week Commencing 30/05/2022 – In The News

Jubilee party organisers urged to stay safe

red, white and blue buntingAs the country prepares for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the UK’s biggest electricity distributor has warned people putting up the bunting to stay safe.

Thousands of street parties are expected to be organised for early June as part of an extended bank holiday weekend to mark the Jubilee.

Putting up bunting and other decorations, as well bringing in temporary structures such as small marquees, are likely to be on the to-do list for those in charge of the party planning.

UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity across London, the South East and East of England, wants everyone to enjoy themselves safely at community events and that means staying aware of what is around them, such as electricity service cables and overhead power lines.

Debbie Chachulski, a safety advisor at UK Power Networks, said: “Contact with electricity can result in serious burns or even result in a fatality. Every year people are seriously injured after contact with electricity so people’s thought process around the Jubilee still has to consider their personal safety.

Read more on the SHP website.

HSE chair shares insight to new strategy

PPE against a construction site backgroundAlongside the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next week, there is another anniversary that’s close to all of us at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), says Sarah Newton, HSE board chair.

This year also marks 50 years since the publication of the Robens Report which led to the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, paving the way for the creation of HSE the following year.

Since our inception, we have successfully driven down the number of workplace injuries and deaths to a fraction of those which devastated families’ lives when the Queen first came to the throne.

While the UK is one of the safest countries in the world to work, we also want it to be amongst the healthiest, with mental health treated as importantly as physical health.

Our mission is expanding beyond worker protection and we need to continue to build on our strong expertise and experience to address future challenges, such as new technologies in the workplace, the growth of new ways of working and enabling the safe transition to the Government’s commitment to the net zero agenda.

To help keep us on this course, we’ve set out an ambitious new HSE strategy for the next decade. Protecting people and places will be at the heart of everything we do as a regulator.

For more, visit the HSM website.

‘Our support for Time to Change allowed us to have an open and productive dialogue with our employees around mental health,’ Skanska UK’s Tricia O’Neill

UK motorwaySkanska has been working with MHFA England since 2016, when it began a campaign to place greater focus on mental health and wellbeing. It wanted to remove the stigma attached to mental ill health. In February of that year, it became one of the first construction companies to sign the ‘Time to Change’ pledge, after Skanska UK’s President and CEO, Gregor Craig, had been inspired to act by his personal experiences of mental ill health. Through its sector leading mental health and wellbeing strategy, Skanska is creating a working culture where its 3,300 UK employees feel valued, able to contribute and reach their potential.

The project has been rolled out across Skanska’s M42 Junction 6 Improvement Scheme – a £255 million project to improve junction 6 of the M42. The scheme, delivered on behalf of National Highways, provides a comprehensive upgrade of the junction near Birmingham Airport, allowing better movement of traffic on and off the A45. Out of the hundred or so people currently working on the project, eight are Mental Health First Aiders. From today they will proudly display their qualification sticker on their safety helmets. This means that everyone on site, no matter their role, will know who they can talk to, should they need support.

Learn more about Skanska’s pledge on the SHP website.

New toolkit to help boost staff wellbeing

Hands in a yoga poseEmployers can find out the potential financial benefits of increasing employee wellbeing with an innovative cost effectiveness calculator.

It is part of a new web-based toolkit of free, evidence-informed workplace wellbeing resources, drawing on cutting edge research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and RAND Europe, as well as insider insights, so that businesses can take action to help themselves evolve and thrive.

A key feature of the ‘Evolve Workplace Wellbeing’ website, the calculator is an interactive tool which demonstrates the financial savings that could be associated with different kinds of workplace initiatives via improved employee wellbeing and boosts to productivity.

Employers can enter figures and characteristics about their business and, as far as possible, the calculator gives benefits and costs in pounds and pence, allowing a direct comparison to help decision-making.

For more on the toolkit, visit the HSM website.

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