WHO’s World Health Day promotes healthy living and working conditions conducive to good health for everyone7 April 2021
- The WHO theme for 2021 - Building a fairer, healthier world aligned with Lucion’s mission - To Make the world a safer place to live.
- Promoting safer working practices - Consideration for staff and client safety, in line with the UK Government’s 'Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)'.
- Supporting employee wellbeing through COVID-19.
Building a fairer, healthier and safer world to live
Each year the World Health Organisation designates 7th April as World Health Day – an opportunity to celebrate health and wellbeing in general and promote the values with family, friends and colleagues.
For businesses, World Health Day is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness and understanding about health issues and promote a healthy message for employee wellbeing, both at and away from work.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced more of us to work from home, and those still travelling to work have had to deal with heightened health and safety restrictions. All of which have compounded the issues around health and wellbeing, with a greater focus on mental health than we have seen pre-pandemic. The unprecedented circumstances created have been harshest on those who were already vulnerable, those more exposed to the virus at workplaces and those less likely to have access to quality health care and support services.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health and also make sure that all people are able to access quality health services when and where they need them.
World Health Day is a timely reminder of the importance of health and wellbeing in protecting and fighting against diseases.
At Lucion, our mission 'to make the world a safer place to live' is aligned with WHO's 'to build a fairer, healthier and safer world to live' and we have worked hard over the last year through COVID-19 and continue to ensure that clients and employees are provided with the service in an environment where they feel safe and supported.
Promoting safer working practices
Negating and managing occupational health risks is key to the success of a business and its team’s wellbeing. At Lucion, the health, safety, and wellbeing of our teams, our clients, and their building users has always been our number one priority.
In March 2020, when the government instructed us to stay at home, we transitioned our teams overnight to remote-working where possible, distanced our laboratory operations, and brought in covid secure working procedures for those of our site based staff that remained operational. We did this in true partnership with our clients, to continue to support their regulatory compliance management requirements.
We continued to adapt and evolve our working procedures and our available resources in line with the latest guidance and regulations, with constant consideration for staff and client safety, in line with the UK Government’s 'Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)' guidance.
- Continued working from home with all necessary equipment required for seamless service delivery to our clients.
- Provided new working from home online health & safety training for all home-workers.
- Created extra space, one-way systems, with staggered breaks and split shift rotas in our UKAS ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratory.
- Allocated appointment slots for site staff to attend our storerooms to pick up any equipment they require.
- Issued hand sanitizers and masks to all staff who are required to attend sites.
- Continued to create a culture of improvement, such as our 'Take Care Be Aware' observations tool, to build on our two-way communication route between teams and senior management, of their encounters with both positive and poor experiences of social distancing applications in our offices and out on sites.
Whilst Lucion has always been at the forefront of technology and innovation in our industry, we have taken the presented circumstances as an opportunity to address the continuous improvements we could make, and strive forward into best practice solutions for our clients by releasing service level upgrades and design new value-adding and innovative features to our service lines.
Ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for our team
When we were asked to work from home, our aim was to support our staff in adapting to the new working environment. The lockdown made ‘workplace’ and ‘home’ become inextricably intertwined, and it was important to ensure our people were supported in staying healthy and happy while working from home.
Our leadership team continually looked at how best to support our people, who were making significant shifts to support their clients. Communication was key, with regular messages from our CEO provided the strategic direction and a comforting message that the leadership team was doing its best to steer the company through an unprecedented situation, keeping the interest of all employees at heart.
There are a lot of factors that have impacted employees' mental health over the past few months. Working remotely, feeling isolated, financial pressures, juggling childcare commitments, health concerns and general insecurity about what the future holds.
The pandemic has put focus and emphasis on understanding the wellbeing and mental health of employees. We carried out two wellness surveys to better understand how staff were feeling. In addition, we shared options for support, including line managers, mental health first aiders and charities that can support them in times of need. As well as the more practical health support, we made sure we Stayed Connected with daily check-in calls, chats, and virtual socials to help relieve the pressure of working in the lockdown.
Homeschooling was a huge challenge so being flexible on working hours and deadlines was adopted. To support families with young children, we created ‘Lucion Littles Ones’ activity packs to help with home-schooling (aged 7-10 yrs) making working/parenting a little easier.
We learnt more about one another’s lives away from work, discovering we have a lot more in common than being simply colleagues. One great initiative that emerged from these conversations was the ‘Lucion Cookbook’, where team members submitted recipes which we printed and sales of which raised money for Mesothelioma and FareShare charities.
I think during these times there was a real appreciation to receive something physical, and it was great to celebrate Lucion’s culinary diversity in a creative way.
We encouraged taking breaks, and getting outside and away from our desks to ensure we set boundaries and times when we were not available and with family.
See the infographic included in the article which provides a retrospective through the numbers showcasing the Lucion Services team's participation, support and engagement over the past 12 months: Lucion Services family in 2020-21 - A Retrospective
There will continue to be adjustments as the world adapts to the new way of life, but our focus on health, safety and wellbeing will remain as we continue to grow as a business.
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