Rail Safety Week (RSW - 24 to 30 June) is a great time to remind workers to speak up if they have health, wellbeing or safety concerns. The people closest to the action are often best placed to notice things and flag them up – be they visible hazards or invisible early warnings such as fatigue. However people choose to speak up, it’s important that they don’t get ignored - that’s when welfare problems arise, and accidents happen. RSW is also a great time to reflect on some of the things our members are doing to support the health and safety of their workforce.
QTS has recently achieved the Gold Award with NHS’ Healthy Working Lives, and will be making use of RSW to continue its programme of monthly poster campaigns and interactive training sessions. Their Occupational Health Advisor is now trained to deliver ‘Healthy Working Lives: Mentally Healthy Workplace’ training and is rolling out mental health awareness sessions with managers.
Other initiatives include healthy eating campaigns, advice on heart health, drug and alcohol awareness events and information on health issues such as smoking cessation, stress and testicular/breast cancer awareness. QTS has created a walking route within their head office ground, and walking groups are springing up to take a stroll over the lunch break. Regional safety stand-down events are underway in and round RSW, and the QTS Safety Bus is touring Scotland, focusing on mental health and men’s health.
To find out more contact Iain Kirk at IainKirk@qtsgroup.com.
DB Cargo UK Ltd
Supporting RSW is part of DB Cargo’s commitment to its employees, wider community and industry partners that ‘everyone should work safely and go home safely’. Safety forms an integral part of day-to-day business and is a condition of everybody's employment.
It means that everybody working for or on behalf of DB Cargo must act safely and challenge unsafe behaviours or conditions. During RSW, DB Cargo are running a communications campaign focused around the freight industry’s top 5 risks:
- Road Risk
- Safe Systems of Work
During the week, DB Cargo are hosting a safety event at their Doncaster offices, and there will also be a series of ‘site engagement tours’ with industry colleagues and customers.
DB Cargo UK have also invited customers to work with them to deliver safety events in schools. Many of the events and activities are being run by volunteers who are giving up their time to contribute towards the campaign.
During RSW, Merseyrail will be reminding their employees of the importance of proactively looking after their wellbeing to ensure they are fit, competent and fully focused when on duty. Merseyrail’s health and wellbeing programme covers physical, mental, financial and social health.
The focus in 2019 is mental health, with new initiatives including ‘Mindfulness for Managers’ and ‘Mindfulness for Beginners’ taster sessions open to all staff, and a free 24/7 helpline and virtual GP service. Many great ideas have come from staff, including a six-month programme linking up with the UTS (a charity which offers gym/wellbeing facilities for staff while off work with illness or following a fatality at work).
During Mental Health Awareness week in May, Merseyrail sent every location a gift pack with tea, biscuits and a branded mental health tea towel encouraging staff to 'just take two' and have a brew and a chat. This encouraged people to see the value in taking time for themselves and to talk about mental health. Some people shared experiences with mental health which were very raw but insightful and thought provoking.
To find out more contact Janet Ives at firstname.lastname@example.org.