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20 April 2017

NHSG/20/17

North East Organisations set to receive prestigious HWL awards

Twenty-five organisations from the north east of Scotland are set to receive Healthy Working Lives awards at a ceremony at Hazlehead Cafe tomorrow [Friday 21 April]. Some recipients will be achieving award status for the first time, with others adding to their accomplishments, progressing up the levels on their HWL journey.

Organisations involved range from all industries, sectors and sizes: small businesses to large enterprises, spanning from Aberdeen Radiation Protection Services, with 10 employees, to Aberdeenshire Council, with over 15,000 staff members. The award in Grampian currently covers 138 registered clients and over 66,000 employees, with 13 Bronze, 9 Silver and 3 Gold awards to be presented in total.

The Healthy Working Lives Programme is part of NHS Health Scotland and encourages employers to promote a healthier workforce. It covers a wide range of topics, including health promotion and health inequalities, occupational health and safety, employability, mental health and well-being, community involvement, and health and the environment. Since the programme began, over 290 organisations based in the North-East have now received Healthy Working Lives awards.

In aid of the award, numerous activities, physical events and challenges have been held, with many notable achievements along the way, such as: SOS International supported a community project at Rosebank cottage. 9 members of staff volunteered to improve the garden space at Rosebank cottage. This involved moving one tonne of soil in order to rebuild a 15 year old planter for client use.

Trinity International, their biggest achievement to date through the HWL Journey has been through our information sharing on smoking as they now have two colleagues who have successfully given up smoking which makes them a smoke free office as all other colleagues are non-smokers. The company jogging club has six members and one colleague is now onto their sixth half marathon over the last year.

A variety of health and safety events have also been held. Aberdeen Radiation Protection Services, instead of a Christmas meal went to Absafe and used the driving simulators including the 'Beast'.

Stork Technical Services during Diabetes Awareness Day 15 June 2016 - offered blood glucose tests onsite for all employees.

Our own NHS Grampian Acute Sector has achieved their Bronze award. They held a Staff Health Fair where all grades of staff and disciplines were invited to attend. 10 health stands with different topics and health messages.

Approximately 200 attended the main event with a further 218 interactions from the satellite stands.

Aberdeenshire Council registered with the award in 2007, and will be receiving their Gold award, as well as providing a short presentation at the ceremony.

The awards are being presented by NHS Grampian's Director of Public Health Chris Littlejohn. He said: "We are delighted these organisations in Grampian will be receiving the Healthy Working Lives Award. The Award has been a great success story for Scottish employers and their staff and provides an easily accessible way to improve the health, safety and wellbeing."

Healthy Working Lives

The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives was established in 2006 and is the national centre for expertise in Scotland in relation to protecting and improving the health of those in work. The Healthy Working Lives Award has been developed in consultation with businesses and health professionals across Scotland. It is supported by the Confederation of British Industry Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Scottish Government, the Health and Safety Executive, NHS Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Jobcentre Plus, Scottish Enterprise and Highland and Islands Enterprise. It can offer advice on the latest health and safety legislation, occupational health support and help with health promotion. The Centre's advisers, based in Health Boards across Scotland, support companies to achieve the HWL Award.

Healthy Working Lives Awards

Organisations need to meet core criteria to achieve each level of award, however, it is designed to be flexible so employers can select the topics most relevant to their workforce.

For further information about the Awards: free national advice line 0800 019 2211 and www.healthyworkinglives.com.