Effective health and safety management is the foundation of our business ethos.
The health and safety of our workforce remain our utmost priority, as we continue to champion our Work Safe, Home Safe culture and working practices. Our aim is to attain standards of health and safety in the workplace that exceeds legal requirements and Approved Codes of Practice. To achieve this we are developing a sustainable system and culture to help us deliver a safe and efficient service to our clients. We will strive to create collaborative working practices with our clients to ensure the safety of the workforce engaged at the client’s workplace. Health, safety, and the respect of the environment are integral parts of our fundamental performance. We continually work towards the establishment of advanced formal management systems for Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS).
In 2019, our Safety Matters Close Call App received 2,011 close calls, up from 1,320 in 2018. This demonstrates continued buy-in across our operations, with each close call enabling us to deliver proactive actions. Our mobile Safety Vehicles also continued engaging with front line workers, clients and more, by delivering health and safety briefings and promoting correct working behaviours. We also successfully transitioned to ISO45001 from BS OHSAS 18001 in 2019, together with strengthening our health and safety management systems.
Health and Wellbeing
At Vital, we understand the importance to our employee, contractors and their families of a healthy lifestyle and a good work life balance, and recognise the impact that this can have on both individuals and our business. We are now developing initiatives to encourage our staff to improve their all-round health and wellbeing.
Our health and wellbeing strategy supports the promotion of a healthy lifestyle to help prevent ill health, contribute to health, wellbeing and happiness and prolong a good quality of life.
As a business, our activities such a yoga, fitness classes and educational talks allow us to:
Do all we can to make the workplace safe and inform and educate our employees about protecting their health and wellbeing.
Provide information and advice to inform and educate our workforce about lifestyle choices
Encourage and help people to change their behaviours positively to influence their wellbeing
Mental Health First Aiders
One pillar is our Mental Health First Aiders – individuals who act as reference points to spot mental health triggers within our workforce and take steps to offer assistance and guidance. Any working environment has the potential to exacerbate mental illness and we understand how crucial it is that our people are equipped to spot warning signs of declining mental health. The campaign, which first began with 20 First Aiders, has swelled to 40, and it’s our goal to reach 80 trained individuals.
‘Managing Mental Health in the Workplace’ training is now mandatory for anyone with line manager responsibilities, and ensuring broad acceptance of mental health and wellbeing is a Group-wide priority. Step-by-step guidance on fostering good mental health, personally, among teams and across the wider business, is provided. This addresses topics such as how to welcome someone back to work after a mental health-related absence and how to approach someone with signs of mental illness.
MOT health checks
Rather than rely on our workforce to act, we are bringing the health MOT to our people, to promote early detection and facilitate open health discussions. Since June 2019, together with our health and safety advisers, Heather Deering has toured the length and breadth of the UK, delivering on-site health checks; not only to our workforce but for anyone available on-site.
Blood pressure, body fat, visceral fat, body mass index (BMI), bone mass and metabolic rate are all measured by our health testing equipment. The painless, five-minute process involves the user placing their arm into one machine, stepping onto another and inputting data such as height and age into the computer’s health algorithm. The analysed data is then discussed privately to better understand their health profile, including any identified risks and subsequent actions to be taken.
Numerous track roles involve manual labour, which means operatives must be mentally and physically fit and healthy. Many of our rail trainees have seldom done an intensive day’s work, so we enrolled our Manchester cohort of Level 2 Engineering Apprentices onto a six-week CrossFit initiative to improve their strength, aerobic fitness, agility, balance and flexibility, and to enhance their work readiness. Each weekly 90-minute fitness session incorporated several technical lifts associated with functional fitness, alongside strength and conditioning exercises. The sessions also taught teamwork skills and health and safety best practice, whilst promoting the mental health benefit of exercise.
Preservation of the environment is a core management responsibility for Vital. Our efforts are guided by the Vital Environmental Policy and ISO 14001 management system.
We are committed to:
An awareness of how our activities and services impact upon the environment; we are committed to complying with relevant environmental legislation and regulations.
Continually improving environmental performance by building environmental considerations into our decision making processes and methods of operation.
Controlling the emission of smoke, fumes, odours, and dust for the protection of all persons whether or not employed on the works.
Setting and publishing a clear set of environmental objectives and monitoring results to ensure that targets are met.
Ensuring that that all Vital sites are covered by this policy and that the policy is implemented, maintained and communicated to all employees.
Requiring suppliers and contractors to have a proper regard for the Vital Environmental Policy.