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Occupational Health, Safety & Welfare
fitness & health for all employees
The Service is committed to providing the best possible environment at work, in which all employees can achieve their potential.
In considering the improvement of workforce wellbeing as a holistic and strategic issue, the Service will aim to improve engagement, health, and efficiency across all areas of the organisation. This will help improve individual and collective outputs which in turn will help us reach our desired outcome of becoming the best UK Fire & Rescue Service and add value as a result, both to those who work in Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) and those we serve.
The purpose of the Workforce Wellbeing Strategy is to provide a platform to research, implement and evaluate initiatives and actions that will embrace the concept ‘Fit for Work, Fit for Life, Fit for Tomorrow’ and lead to improvements in the following areas:
The Workforce Wellbeing Strategy applies to all employees of HFRS and is the overarching plan to collectively embed and implement a number of new and existing Service policies, procedures and initiatives in order to achieve the aims as set out in the Terms of Reference for the Workforce Wellbeing Strategy Group. These policies, procedures and initiatives include:
Through a combination of events, literature, advice and support, HFRS employees will have the tools and credible advice to improve and maintain their health.
Provision of a regular systematic process to reduce risk and detect early signs of work related health concerns among employee groups exposed to specific risks.
Carry out a variety of screening designed to ensure that our employees are fit and healthy. This includes identifying any future risks and ensuring that individuals receive appropriate support and advice where risks are identified.
Provide specialist psychological counselling and welfare support through the Service’s Welfare Advisor, Community Counsellors, Placement Counsellors and Fire Service Chaplain. Offering support for a variety of issues such as trauma support, post incident support, stress and anxiety management. Conduct Workplace Stress Risk Assessments where necessary and ensure reasonable adjustments or solutions are explored and implemented where risks are identified.
Provide a working environment for all employees free from bullying and harassment. In the event that individuals believe bullying or harassment occurs, provide them with a safe and controlled mechanism via which to raise their concerns.
Ensure potential and existing employees meet the required fitness and health standards to perform the role they are applying for and/or their current role. Offering advice, practical guidance, support and interim testing to achieve required levels of fitness both during the recruitment process and once employed. Where a disability is identified during the recruitment process or during employment, the Service will ensure appropriate reasonable adjustments are made in order to support individuals with their application and/or continued employment where reasonably practicable.
Actively promote a positive approach in identifying trends and reasons for absence from work due to sickness. Offering advice, guidance and support to individuals and line managers to prevent absence from work where possible and achieve a prompt return to work where absence has occurred.
Provide a confidential, professional 24 hour support facility, currently via Workplace Options, to all employees and their immediate family members to access advice and numerous support functions externally.
Provide a safe and healthy physical working environment for all employees, with reduced risk of hazards.
Continue to provide access for employees to receive timely physiotherapy treatment to prevent absence and reduce absence from work. Continue to provide a system whereby employees can request financial assistance from the Service for private medical treatment in order to prevent or reduce absence from work.
Support and promote the facilities available to employees, particularly in respect of rehabilitation at both Harcombe House and Jubilee House.
Where practicable, accommodate a range of working patterns for individuals that suit their needs both at work and outside of work, ensuring compliance with the Flexible Working Hours Scheme and Working Time Regulations.
Explore and offer suitable health schemes to employees such as; bike scheme, fitness sessions, diet and nutrition advice, smoking cessation, discounted gym memberships, healthy option food available in canteen.
Ensure employees are exposed to a positive working environment.
Ensure employees receive appropriate and relevant information and support in order for them to make informed decisions regarding retirement. In cases where ill health has resulted in an individual no longer being able to continue in their role, HFRS will provide support and assistance, and consider opportunities for reasonable adjustment and redeployment to alternative roles in accordance with the Service’s Absence Management Procedure.
It is also necessary for this strategy to be considered and become inherent in the following:
The Workforce Wellbeing Strategy will be monitored and evaluated by the Workforce Wellbeing Strategy Group, and will be implemented by collective delivery of the policies, procedures and initiatives outlined above, which is not intended to be exhaustive.
The group will take opportunities to achieve a greater understanding of both internal and external drivers and constraints on workforce wellbeing and best practice to make improvements.
The Wellbeing Strategy Group will periodically review the People Impact Assessment that accompanies this strategy and ensure that any identified risks or impacts are managed to ensure no employees groups are adversely affected or disadvantaged.
Together with the Workforce Wellbeing Strategy Group, the Human Resources (HR) and Occupational Health & Welfare teams have a joint responsibility to take a lead role in the development and delivery of this strategy to achieve a healthier workforce, and will work collaboratively in order to do so. This includes ensuring line management have the appropriate skills and awareness to carry out their responsibilities under this strategy.
Line management and senior management must recognise the impact of good people management on service delivery and have a responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their employees whilst at work. As such, it is essential that they too are aware that they need to engage in, drive and support this strategy.
The Health & Safety team and Property Services team are responsible for ensuring the physical aspects of employees’ working environments are safe, fit for purpose and not detrimental to the health and wellbeing of HFRS employees.
The Service has an expectation that recognised Trade Unions will embrace this strategy and assist in driving and delivering it to their members.
All employees have a responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, as well as that of their colleagues and peers.
A process of evaluation will take place prior to the publication of this strategy to the organisation in order to clearly define its aims and objectives. Evaluation will then be conducted periodically, as agreed by the Workforce Wellbeing Strategy Group.
Line management, senior management and employees will be encouraged to provide feedback on issues which they believe are barriers to the successful development and implementation of this strategy.