HomeNewsVolkerWessels UK commits to the Public Health Responsibility Deal

VolkerWessels UK commits to the Public Health Responsibility Deal

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As part of the government's Public Health Responsibility Deal, VolkerWessels UK has signed up as a Responsibility Deal partner and signed the specific Construction and Civil Engineering Industries Pledge, demonstrating its commitment to the health of its workforce.

Since the launch of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, many partners have made individual pledges that are either specific to their organisation or to a sub-group within a sector. VolkerWessels UK signed up as a partner from the outset of the Construction and Civil Engineering industries Pledge on 10th October 2013.

The aim of this voluntary partnership is for businesses and influential organisations to work collaboratively to improve public health by creating the right environment for people to make informed choices that lead to healthier lives.

As part of the Construction Pledge VolkerWessels UK:

  1. Povides clinical occupational health services that work in accordance with relevant standards,
  2. Annually reports on the health and well-being of employees, and
  3. Actively promotes health and wellbeing and the effective management of health to employees.

Where relevant, VolkerWessels UK also pledges to encourage its subcontractors and supply chain to endorse at least one of the actions above in order to implement good health and wellbeing activities in their own businesses. The framework for delivering this pledge is achieved through the application of occupational health practices across the following elements, which encompass the Construction and Civil Engineering Industries Pledge:

  • Chronic health conditions
  • Healthy staff restaurants
  • Smoking cessation
  • Health checks for employees
  • Mental health adjustment
  • Healthy lifestyles, particularly amongst young people
  • Active travel
  • Physical activity in the workplace

Why is the pledge important?

Adrian Shah-Cundy, head of corporate responsibility at VolkerWessels UK, commented: “We are pleased to be involved in the Construction Pledge, as it is a great opportunity for companies within the construction industry to change the way in which they support the health and well-being of employees, both in their own organisations and, in many cases, through their supply chains.

“The pledge really does benefit both the employer and employee, as proactively managing employees’ physical and mental health brings important business benefits including a reduction of sickness absence; increased productivity; reduction in lost time due to accidents and associated costs; greater staff engagement; reduced staff turnover; and increased profitability.

“Employees are more likely to take increased responsibility for their own health and wellbeing if they see a genuine commitment at the most senior level of the organisation to safeguarding and improving workplace health. For employees, keeping well and in work protects against financial hardship, promotes a better quality of life and allows people to make the most of their potential.”

Benefits to public health

Evidence shows that, in general, being in work is good for health, and that unemployment leads to poorer health. Common health problems now account for about two-thirds of sickness absence, long-term incapacity and early retirement. This pledge takes a proactive approach to addressing a range of health and wellbeing issues, which can help to improve public health.

VolkerWessels UK will demonstrate its commitment to the Construction Pledge delivery plan by reporting on progress every April.

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