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First step towards a healthier workplace

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The Worcestershire Works Well scheme recognises that good health and well-being brings benefits to everyone. Healthier people tend to be happier and play a more active role in society through their families, local communities and workplaces, while poor health and wellbeing can have a negative impact on individuals as well as placing a strain on the NHS and the wider economy. With most adults spending a significant proportion of their daily lives at work, employers can play a vital role in improving the health and wellbeing of the work force. This can be through health promotion, raising awareness of particular health issues and supporting employees to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Similar health and well-being accreditation schemes implemented elsewhere have helped organisations reduce sickness absence and working days lost, have reduced accidents at work and have even contributed to lowering staff turnover.

HWFRS has recently completed Level One of the Worcestershire Works Well scheme and today, Thursday May 16, was presented with this award during a ceremony held at Worcestershire Cricket Club.

Station Commander Bob Sproat, who is helping to co-ordinate the scheme for HWFRS, explained: “The health and well-being of our staff is of paramount importance to us as we recognise the impact that this has on all areas of the service we provide. We are delighted to have achieved the Level One award, and although so far it is for our Headquarters premises in Charles Hastings Way, Worcester, only, we hope ultimately to roll out the scheme to all our sites in Worcestershire and a similar scheme to all of our premises in Herefordshire as well.”

To achieve the Level One award, the Service has had to demonstrate its commitment to the health and well-being of its HQ staff and show evidence of the practices it has in place to support this. These include a range of issues, from promoting the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity to highlighting the risks associated with smoking and drinking alcohol, as well as promoting a safe working environment.

SC Sproat continued: “While this is very much a first step, we are committed to achieving the next stages of the programme (Levels 2 & 3) and to extending the scheme throughout the Service to benefit all employees.

“The initiative is also helping us build on the success we had with the national FireFit Challenge, where HWFRS won the Gold Award after being selected as the UK’s healthiest Fire Service workplace.”

HWFRS is now working towards achieving Level Two of the Worcestershire Works Well Health and Well-being Accreditation Scheme at its headquarters site, while at the same time developing a template to assist the implementation of Level One at its other locations.