As part of work to protect the all-round wellbeing of all its employees, a recent Saint-Gobain campaign has tackled the challenge of staying properly hydrated at work from both ends – literally. This work has won them a medal of excellence as part of the British Glass Health and Safety Forward scheme.
Even mild dehydration can cause headaches, tiredness and loss of stamina in an otherwise healthy person – affecting an employee's ability to function safely and efficiently in any environment. But for people whose work is physical or carried out in hot conditions, keeping hydrated is especially important.
To emphasise this to all of its staff, Saint-Gobain Glass has given away high-quality drinks bottles to employees as a thank you for completing a health and wellbeing questionnaire.
“The bottles are a practical little reminder to everyone to keep fluids handy so that it’s easy to drink regularly – whether they’re in an office or on the factory floor,” said health and safety manager Steve Higgins.
Employees at the Eggborough plant are also reminded to check their hydration every time they go to the loo – by urine colour charts displayed in the toilets.
“You can learn a lot from the colour of your wee! Urine colour is a much better indicator of your hydration than whether or not you feel thirsty. The charts help staff to assess how they’re doing, throughout their time at work,” said Steve.
These simple but effective tactics put into practice the principles outlined in the British Glass guidance document Managing working in elevated temperatures.
Along with a raft of other measures Saint-Gobain has taken, they also demonstrate to employees that their wellbeing matters. While a 2016 baseline survey showed that 75% of their staff already feel that the business takes care of employee wellbeing – Saint Gobain is striving to improve further on this each year.
As well as the hydration campaign, the company has looked at nutrition (providing free fruit) and getting staff moving more (with trials of walking meetings and stand up desks).
Looking after staff wellbeing isn’t just about having a healthy workforce – it contributes to a healthy bottom line: Health and Safety Executive data reveals that in 2015/16 the UK lost 25.9 million working days due to work-related illness.
British Glass safety adviser Paul Pearcy said:
“Little thing can make a big difference to employee health. It’s great to see Saint-Gobain systematically taking practical action that helps to protect employees and to create a culture where people are empowered to make wellbeing a priority.”
Saint-Gobain Glass, part of the Saint-Gobain Group, is Europe’s leading manufacturer of flat glass for the UK market. It offers a range of float, coated and laminated products designed for a wide variety of domestic and commercial applications. It operates from Eggborough in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Saint-Gobain Glass is a member of British Glass’ Health and Safety Forward scheme - which ensures and demonstrates that the glass sector is forward looking, and thinking, in terms of health and safety. As part of the scheme an occupational health working group that has been set up, to understand current health provision and challenges in the glass sector, and promote good practice.
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