Workplace safety and wellbeing are the focus of a new partnership initiative in Middlesbrough.
The Estates Excellence & Extra Life (EE&EL) programme offers businesses free support and the tools needed to drive up health and safety standards and improve employee health and wellbeing.
Middlesbrough Council has teamed up with the Health and Safety Executive, Cleveland Fire Authority, Middlesbrough College and local businesses and other organisations to deliver the approach locally.
Estates Excellence is a national initiative developed by the Health and Safety Executive that has already led to significant improvements in workplace health, safety and welfare.
These include reduced sickness absenteeism, a reduction in workplace accidents and better workplace standards for employees.
In Middlesbrough, the Estates Excellence programme will work alongside the ‘Extra Life’ health improvement initiative which incorporates the North East Better Health at Work Award.
These initiatives are designed to support local employers to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees whilst at work and at home.
Employees are able to take part in a series of activities and events ranging from simple health advice sessions to health screening and opportunities to become more physically active, learn about healthy eating, reduce personal health risks and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Edward Kunonga, Middlesbrough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “This is the first combined Estates Excellence and Extra Life programme in Middlesbrough.
“The initial setting for this scheme is the Riverside Industrial Estate and St Hilda’s area.
“Visits to businesses are by invitation only and do not constitute an inspection under health and safety regulations. We are seeking to work with employers and their employees to encourage positive changes and improve the quality of working life.
“EE&EL representatives will visit businesses and help them to look at their health, safety and wellbeing needs.
“Employers and employee representatives will then be invited to attend free workshops, held within the estate area, on a variety of workplace safety and health improvement topics.
“For businesses that take part, the scheme will help them improve workplace safety standards, achieve better health for all and contribute to the development of local communities and the wider society.”
Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Health and Social Care said: “This initiative is a great local partnership that supports businesses and people who live or work in Middlesbrough.
“The Council, working with its partners, is aiming to make businesses safer and healthier for people at work, to reduce the burden of workplace accidents and ill-health and support health improvement in the local community.”
Peter Wilson, managing director of Industry and Community Partnerships at Middlesbrough College, said: “Middlesbrough College offers a range of health and safety services for employers, designed to help reduce risk and improve the well-being of employees.
“Supporting local businesses and individuals through the Estates Excellence and Extra Life programme with proactive, hands- on support, the training provided by the college will help to develop workforce skills and promote a positive health and safety culture.”
Gary Dawson, managing director of AV Dawson, said: “We value our workforce and put their health and wellbeing first in everything we do. We are very pleased to support the Estates Excellence and Extra Life initiative, particularly as it is a collaboration between businesses and regulators as well as seeking to promote working between businesses.”