April 28th marked the annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work. An international campaign, it aims to promote collaboration across all levels – government, employers, and workers – to actively participate in securing a safe environment for all people in the workplace.
With this in mind, it seemed like a suitable moment to highlight Churchill’s own efforts. In the context of the ‘3 W’s’ – workspace, workers, and wellbeing – three key players in our business highlight what Churchill does differently in each.
– Harrison Briggs, Operations Manager – Complete Compliance
Health and safety applies right down to the bricks and mortar of the physical spaces we occupy. Unfortunately, compliance is confusing for many, though it need not be. There are 33 common statutory compliance obligations that any person running a building must consider to safeguard not only their building assets, but crucially the people in them too. The difficulty lies in that everyone interprets their compliance obligations differently – who is responsible? Is it the client or service partner?
I think we need to strip it back and think about compliance methodically, much like a car MOT. A solution that we are pursuing is using technology to simplify the process for our clients. In this vein, we launched our bespoke compliance software platform CATI earlier this year in a bid to ‘digitise FM’. Designed specifically for the built environment, we hope that CATI will alleviate confusion for those overseeing compliance in their organisation by providing a clear structure and high-level view of their portfolio.
– Angelina Sooren, Director – HSEQ and Compliance
HSEQ and compliance cover a lot of similar ground. Collectively, we’re encouraging our clients to make sure that their sites are safe not only for their people, but also for our own operatives working at their sites.
With regards to our workers, we champion a top-down approach – from the C-suite down to our staff on the ground. The ‘practice what you preach’ mantra underpins everything that we do, embedding a safety culture from key stakeholders in our business that filters down to every aspect of our operations. With this in mind, I’m rallying senior team members from all our divisions to complete their IRATA Level 1 qualification! We’re striving to make health and safety an intrinsic part of our work culture. To engage with both our workers and that of our clients, the HSEQ team has recently set out its ‘RAISE 2020’ objectives: risk, attitudes & behaviour, incident management, safety management systems, and employee engagement. This will not only raise our profile, but also we hope set a precedent for the sector.
– Melanie Taylor, Director – HR
Over the past decade or so, the function of the HR department has changed along with the workspace and its workers. On the surface, this has primarily been a change in language. We’ve seen a shift in the conversation around health in the workplace from physical to mental health, with a ‘wellbeing’ strategy coming onto corporate agendas. In more depth, this represents a seismic shift in how companies operate, as they prioritise the happiness of their staff as well as their physical safety. There’s still a way to go, but its importance cannot be understated.
Last year Churchill pledged to the ‘Time to Change’ initiative. It includes awareness workshops, personal development strategies and appointing mental health ‘champions’, and is a representation of the care we invest in our people, as well as an expression of our commitment as an organisation to bringing an end to mental health discrimination.