The British Safety Council held a parliamentary reception on 14 June as part of its Keep Thriving campaign bringing MPs and peers at the House of Commons together to discuss how we can ensure workers thrive. The Keep Thriving campaign seeks to help improve the wellbeing of workers, within and outside of the workplace.
The event was hosted by Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Work and Pensions, Wendy Chamberlain MP. Wendy said: “Everyone no matter what they job they do, or what environment they work in, deserves to thrive in it. Only when thriving, can people give their best.
“I’m delighted to support the British Safety Council’s Keep Thriving campaign. Only by ensuring a continuous focus on workplace wellbeing will we enable the right conversations to take place in relation to mental health and tackle the worrying statistics around productivity and the increasing numbers of people becoming economically inactive and exiting the workforce.”
Speaking alongside Wendy was British Safety Council chairman, Peter McGettrick, who said: “We all know the consequences of someone being injured or harmed at work, both to the individual and their family. Absence through lost productivity or resource amounts to a cost of £100 billion to the UK economy each year.”
Four employers who work closely with the British Safety Council came to talk with parliamentarians about what they are doing to improve their own workplace wellbeing.
Peter McGettrick said he wanted to “see employers, government and society valuing and understanding best practice and wellbeing”. He said that we must “see leadership, commitment and accountability for health, safety and wellbeing from the highest levels within organisations” and workers “actively involved in developing their organisations’ integrated health, safety and wellbeing strategy at a national level”.
Also speaking at the event, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, Dr Rosena
Allin-Khan MP, stressed the urgent need to “work across political divides” on wellbeing. She said: “Having fantastic initiatives like Keep Thriving tries to look at creating a uniform way of ensuring that no one gets left behind. Encouraging workplaces to sign up to Keep Thriving means that people don’t fall through the net.”
A key aim of the Keep Thriving is help organisations learn from each others’ best practice. Attending the reception were a number of industry representatives who provided a valuable insight into what can be achieved with a strong commitment to worker wellbeing and actively engaged employees.
The House magazine interviewed some of them and asked what workplace wellbeing meant to them. Emma Willey, a director at the asbestos testing and removals company ACS Physical Risk Control, said that “it is genuinely fundamental to every single thing I do”.
Recalling her own harrowing experience as a survivor of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, she explained how a positive approach to workplace wellbeing helped her through PTSD from the event. She also highlighted current efforts at ACS to boost employer wellbeing, including flexible working and promoting an environment where everybody knows they can talk to one another.
Meanwhile, managing director of construction firm XMO Strata, Steve Martin, explained how his organisation had worked with employees to develop an app, whereby any member of staff can have an anonymous conversation with their employer about wellbeing related issues. Commenting on the positive results of the initiative, Martin said “it’s really broken down the barriers of talking about mental health”.
See more in the House Magazine article here
Find out more about how you can get involved and support Keep Thriving: britsafe.org/keep-thriving
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