An analysis of staff health and illness showed that 13 members of the workforce had died of heart attacks and strokes in the last three years. The need to take action was clear.
Costain, an engineering and construction company with 3,500 staff, has made a big change towards becoming a healthier workplace.
Blood pressure checks
High blood pressure is a risk factor of heart disease and so Laura Colleran, part of the Health and Safety team, conducts blood pressure monitoring across all work sites. All staff with high blood pressure readings are referred to their GP. The first time she did the tests she found that the blood pressue of some employees was so high that they had to be sent to hospital immediately.
Heart Health talks
Following the blood pressure checks, we were asked to deliver a Heart Health workshop to staff. The talk mainly focused on what to do if someone has a heart attack and how to prevent it. Some staff then went on to be trained in the use of defibrillators by the local ambulance service.
Since then workers have asked for a number of health talks that could also benefit them. Healthy eating is currently on the agenda and a new canteen is about to be introduced. Having a catering company that provides healthy food is seen as crucial.
Costain believe that having a positive attitude to health is essential to a happy and productive workforce and that involving employees from the very beginning has made everyone feel included.