College gains Healthy Working Lives award

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New College Lanarkshire has been commended for its approach towards keeping staff healthy – both physically and mentally.

The College was recently presented with the Healthy Working Lives Bronze Award, which celebrates the College for demonstrating a focused approach in supporting employees to achieve a healthy working life.

Mary McGibbon from Healthy Working Lives Lanarkshire visited the College to present the award and a cheque for £100 from the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, to be used towards staff development and training.

Mary praised the College for having such a high response to the Employee Engagement Study with a 42 per cent return – significantly higher than any other FE establishment.

Some of the Healthy Working Lives Team were in attendance to receive the award, including Fiona McGrory, Occupational Health Adviser, Robert Curran, Health and Safety Adviser, Willie Tait, Health and Safety Manager, John Dempster, Health and Safety Adviser and Fiona MacIntyre, Health and Safety Administrator.

Tom Dodds, Assistant Principal: Estates was also present, and said: “The team have worked exceptionally hard to ensure that staff members of New College Lanarkshire are fully aware of the occupational health and health and safety teams, their mission and their work so far.

“The Bronze award is a huge achievement for the organisation and we already have fantastic ideas and initiatives in place to be recognised for the silver award.

“Thanks to so many staff completing our Healthy Working Lives survey, we know exactly what staff want and need from the workplace and as we continue to develop the Healthy Working Lives project, I hope more and more staff will see the benefit of it.

“Thank-you to Mary for coming along to present the award to the team and we look forward to seeing her again soon.”

To achieve the bronze award, the College successfully completed set criteria as laid out by Healthy Working Lives. It included:

  • Making all staff aware of how health, safety and wellbeing affects their work
  • Helping all staff understand the role of health and safety, health improvement and how they can be supported at work
  • Ensure that work undertaken by employees does not adversely affect their health
  • Engage with employees and make them aware that the College is addressing health, safety and wellbeing issues at work

Since starting the journey towards the bronze award, the Healthy Working Lives team have put a number of initiatives in place to ensure that all staff are aware of the College’s Health and Safety offering.

The team firstly issued an all-staff survey to gauge thoughts and opinions on what staff members think about the existing provision at new College Lanarkshire and how it can be improved. The results were then analysed and evaluated with action points made, focussing on three main themes: Mental Health, Healthy Eating and Smoking.

Campaigns have since been run to achieve the Bronze award, including information sessions at the staff CPD Week, information stalls in the campuses and dedicated appointments for blood sugar, smoking and stress. An online campaign was also held on the staff intranet to ensure all staff knew where they could find policies, procedures and guidance documents.

The College will now work towards the Silver award, focussing on alcohol and drug support, attendance management policies and support, health and safety policies, healthy eating and physical activity benefits. It will also continue to develop the existing mental health, wellbeing and stress campaigns underway.

For more information about Healthy Working Lives, visit: http://www.healthyworkinglives.com/

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