Hitachi Rail Europe has committed to investing in the health and wellbeing of its staff at its site on Aycliffe Business Park by signing up to the Better Health at Work Award (BHAWA).
Aycliffe-based Pioneering Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) manage the County Durham sub region of the North East BHAWA and are working with Hitachi to help them achieve the award.
PCP programme manager Lindsay Sheridan said: “I am delighted that Hitachi Rail has joined over 60 other local organisations operating in County Durham to raise awareness of health and wellbeing in the workplace.
“This is a huge developing area for employers as we need to support our employees in becoming healthier and happier at work.”
“The economic cost of working age ill health is £100bn a year to the national economy, with 131m working days lost.
“The BHAWA can assist in reducing work-related ill health and health-related worklessness by creating healthier and more productive workplaces. We are hoping that other organisations on the Newton Aycliffe business park follow Hitachi’s lead and join in on becoming a healthier workplace too.”
Hitachi already promotes healthy lifestyles and considers the health of its employees as important so this Award will help the business move forward in a structured and supported way.
Louise Williams, HR advisor at Hitachi, said: “We are committed to the health and wellbeing of our workforce and are busy promoting healthy lifestyles inside and outside of work.
“We are currently in the process of encouraging our 800 employees to have a Check4Life health check to raise awareness of any health issues they may have.
“This has been a real success. We are excited to be taking part in the Better Health at Work Award with PCP and are looking forward to seeing the benefits.”
For those organisations who have not considered promoting health at work, taking part in this award will help you reap the rewards of encouraging a healthy workforce.
There are 4 levels to the Award, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Continuing Excellence, with appropriate criteria at each stage to build into an Award portfolio.
The Bronze Level lays a firm foundation to build a healthier workplace and is the starting point for all participants. So, amongst other things, this will see Hitachi Rail raising awareness of health in general, conducting a workforce health needs assessment and then running three workplace health campaigns/events based on these results, which could be anything from heart health and diabetes sessions to smoking cessation and stress awareness.
Organisations have up to a year to complete each level before they are assessed and progress to the next one, with the ultimate aim of workplace health and wellbeing becoming as embedded as safety.
The North East BHAWA is a partnership between the 12 Local Authorities in the region, the Northern TUC and the NHS. Developed to give recognition and endorsement to those organisations that are committed to developing a sustainable culture of health and wellbeing in the workplace.
This means offering encouragement, opportunity and practical support so staff have the chance to be fitter, healthier and safer.
The Award is free, open to all organisations in the north east, regardless of size or sector and brings real benefits for employers, employees and the economy.