Robertson Group excels in workplace health and wellbeing

Brian Pettigrew
Brian Pettigrew

Robertson has reaped the benefits of improving health and safety in the workplace by winning the Bronze Healthy Working Lives award, and is already working towards achieving Silver status.

The award programme, run by the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, helps organisations of all types promote health and safety themes within the workplace, in a practical way that benefits both employers and employees.

From an employer’s point of view, focusing on workplace health and wellbeing can create lower absenteeism, decreasing the significant costs that poor attendance brings to businesses. Research from PwC last year found the annual cost of sickness to UK companies rose to almost £29bn. Another benefit from achieving this accreditation is an improved reputation, with both customers and potential recruits more likely to choose a company that invests in their employees’ physical, mental and social health.

Employees too will experience the positive effects a greater focus on their workplace health and wellbeing brings. These include feeling more motivated and healthier in general, and reducing the number of accidents that take place at work. Robertson has directly involved employees in developing their programme by using a feedback survey to ask what themes they would like to address.

The projects that have helped Robertson achieve Bronze status include the hydration challenge and the hand-arm vibration awareness campaign. The first encouraged employees to drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day to avoid symptoms of dehydration including fatigue and headaches. The latter raised awareness of the dangers of incorrectly using power tools in the construction industry, with toolbox talks on the subject held across the company.

Robertson is already looking to the next step, with new themes planned that will continue to improve employee wellbeing and help the business win the Silver award. They join a long list of individuals that are planning to Go Sober for October, cutting out alcohol in order to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Two more themes to be focused upon over the next year include bowel and prostate cancer. Lastly Robertson Group will run a smoking cessation programme between January and March 2015.

The Robertson Healthy Working Lives (HWL) team was instrumental in achieving the Bronze award. The team is composed of staff from a variety of departments, led by construction manager and HWL Champion Brian Pettigrew.

Brian said: “It has been incredibly rewarding to see the improvement the Healthy Working Lives programme has brought to Robertson Group. Staff have been very engaged in contributing their ideas about which themes we should focus upon, and are enthusiastic about working together to create a happier, healthier work environment. In construction, safety is of paramount importance and achieving this award has shown our commitment to providing the best experience we can for all of our employees.”

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