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Health and Safety

Report A Close Call

close call app

The Close Call App | Reporting a close call is now even easier with the close call app. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play.

What is a Close Call?

“An event that had the potential to cause injury or damage”

In other words – this time no one was hurt and no damage caused, but next time we might not be so lucky. Take all reasonable steps at all times to protect the health, safety and welfare of yourself and others. Never put yourself in danger unless you are fully competent to deal with the situation. If in doubt, seek help immediately!

  • A hazard – is anything that has the potential to cause harm
  • A risk – is the chance that a hazard will cause harm
  • Reporting a Close Call is a positive act
  • The Close Call system operates in a blame free environment
  • It is better to have a Close Call than a lesson learnt!

Record a close call | Please complete this form as accurately as possible to file a Close Call report. Submitting your name and contact details are optional, however your identity will remain confidential and only be revealed to the HSQE Close Call team. You are free to remain anonymous if you wish, however we will be unable to update you as to any actions taken as a result of your report. 

Form ID:2620


 
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​The Close Call App

Reporting a Close Call is now even easier with the Morson Close Call App.

Simply download the app from Google Play or the App Store for on the go, convenient safety reporting.

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    Morson Featured in Recruiter Magazine Discussing How A Personalised Health and Wellbeing Initiative Leads to Productive, Happy and Engaged Employees

    MORSON NEWS | 5 MIN READ​ Morson featured in Recruiter Magazine discussing Morson's health and wellbeing initiative. Adrian Adair, Morson Group COO, Matthew Leavis, Head of UK Training and Heather Deering Morson’s Health, Wellbeing and Engagement Partner discuss the many benefits of a personalised approach. We are proud to share that Adrian Adair, Morson Group COO, Matthew Leavis, Head of UK Training and Heather Deering Morson’s Health, Wellbeing and Engagement Partner have been featured in Recruiter Magazine discussing Morson’s health and wellbeing initiative. In the blog, the team discuss Morson’s commitment to mental health, the many benefits of nutrition, work-life balance and how a personalised approach leads to employee engagement and productivity. Read the full blog from Recruiter Magazine here. In recent years, health & wellbeing has risen inexorably up the agenda of many recruitment companies. A healthy and happy workforce is also a more engaged and productive workforce goes the thinking, while employees and candidates increasingly see it as an important aspect of being a ‘good’ employer. However, while such programmes, involving gym or spa membership, free fruit in the office and perhaps access to some sort of independent advice or counselling service have become more commonplace, some companies are endeavouring to take health & wellbeing to the next level. Three years ago, engineering and technical recruiter Morson International launched MorFit, a fitness programme for staff. Morson’s COO Adrian Adair hails MorFit’s success “in introducing some fitness into the organisation, and in showing us that we could really have an impact on staff” but says this is just the beginning. . . Determined to build a programme that was more than just for “people that were interested in fitness”, he says the company has set the ambitious goal of providing health & wellbeing “that is personalised for individual employees”. Three years after MorFit launched, that journey is well and truly underway. Although still early days, staff can enjoy not just the use of the company’s gym in the basement of its Manchester HQ, and fitness classes, but benefit from Morson’s new much broader and all-encompassing programme. To drive its health & wellbeing agenda and to build it into a long-term strategy, the company has recently appointed its first health, wellbeing and engagement partner, Heather Deering. Mental health is key Mental health is a key aspect of Morson’s programme, says Matthew Leavis, Morson International’s group head of UK training: “When you consider that one in four people will suffer from mental health issues, it’s a significant challenge,” he says. “It is something that we are particularly proactive about at the moment.” The company used Mental Health Awareness Day in May as the catalyst to help break down the stigma of mental health, by encouraging staff to talk about their personal experiences. “A lot of personal stories came out, and people came out and said how supported they felt, including senior people,” says Adair. The company also launched a network of mental health first aiders, usually mid to senior-level managers “to act as a reference point to spot some of the trigger points within their team”. The ambition is to expand the number of mental health first aiders to 80. “Gone are the days when you just asked ‘How are you?’, because most people won’t really answer that question. We work in quite a stressful environment, so I think it is really important for line managers to be able to spot signs within their staff,” explains Leavis. A typical trigger would be a change in personality, appearance or attitude to work, he says. Unusually, Leavis says the company also allows its clients to take advantage of its growing expertise in mental health, by giving their line managers the opportunity to attend training courses for Morson’s mental health first aiders. Leavis says that one client has asked Deering and Morson’s mental health practitioner to do some work with them on mental health. “It is available as part of our menu of services outside the normal recruitment services,” explains Adair. Taking this further, Leavis says there are plans to launch a mental health training division. Find out more about our mental health first aider programme here. Outside the office In a similar vein, Morson has extended the boundaries of health & wellbeing beyond its own staff working within its own offices, by introducing a fitness programme for a number of its rail apprentices, who are deployed on clients’ sites. Leavis says the initiative was launched in response to a spike in the numbers of rail apprentices, who left during the first couple of weeks of beginning their duties. “The youth of today are perhaps not as physically active as they used to be,” Leavis explains, “with social media, computers and online gaming, so we find that a lot of the young lads and ladies who come to our training centres are not prepared for the physical nature of the job, despite wanting to do it.” There were also concerns that this lack of preparedness for physical work risked injuries or accidents. Working with a gym in Manchester, Leavis says the company came up with a six-week physical fitness programme that would give apprentices “some core strength and basic functional fitness to help them adapt to their roles”. Comparing their performance at the end of the six weeks using a simple test, Leavis says some apprentices tripled their score. He says the programme has also boosted apprentices’ confidence. Partner for health In addition to physical fitness and mental health, Heather Deering’s brief includes mental health, nutrition, work-life balance and employee engagement. “It’s not that MorFit is going away, it’s more about taking things to the next level, and that’s where I step in,” says Deering, who while working for Morson as an internal recruiter qualified as an associate nutritionist. Supporting Deering across the Morson Group are two mental health champions. With its emphasis on putting staff at the centre, Deering says her first task was to undertake a consultation exercise with staff, using the feedback “to determine the priorities of the programme and what the initiatives should look like”. Deering says the feedback indicated that mental health ranked high on the staff’s agenda. Although Morson had done a lot of work on mental health in the past, she says, including training staff and publishing a white paper, the message that came back was that “the training was a little academic and theoretical, whereas they were looking for something more practical”. In addition to the mental health first aiders, one practical result is a mental health tool kit that provides advice about how to approach mental health in the workplace. Adair recognises that in recruitment there is a risk that hard-pressed line managers in particular focus on hitting targets at the expense of the physical and mental wellbeing of staff. However, he says that the focus on health & wellbeing, which started three years ago with MorFit, has now become embedded in the business. “Line managers are encouraged to talk to their people, and it’s about the line manager understanding both the business’s needs and their team’s needs.” Deering says what has helped line managers embrace health & wellbeing is a commitment from the top of the organisation. “I have not really encountered resistance; in fact, people are excited about it,” she says. “It’s about presenting the argument that looking after health & wellbeing makes commercial sense. If you want to attract the right people, keep them present at work, productive and here for the long term the research shows that if staff are healthy and happy, they are going to be engaged, have fewer accidents and perform better, which is all good news for your bottom line.” Adair says the key work for him is “productivity”. “One of Heather [Deering’s] goals is to minimise sick days, so actually if you make people more healthy, they actually spend more time at work.” Deering accepts that what she has embarked on is “a mammoth task” but she remains excited rather than daunted. “It’s about not rushing in and trying to fix everything at once because it is not a quick fix, but taking things bit by bit and by having a calendar of events each year we can cover all the different elements so as to build a long-term strategy.” Find out more about our health and wellbeing initiative here. Alternatively, if you’re looking for your next opportunity with Morson, click here to search for jobs.

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    Oliver Wingrave, Morson Compliance Manager Discusses How We Safeguard the Health and Wellbeing of Our Shift Workers on Track

    Morson’s Compliance Manager, Oliver Wingrave has been featured in the safety reporting newsletter, CIRAS discussing how we keep our contractors safe and well whilst working on shifts. We recognise that night workers face a different set of safety and welfare risks to their daytime counterparts, so it makes sense to think differently when developing support provisions for them. Read on to get an insight into how we go about keeping our shift workers safe and well. To read the full article from CIRAS, click here. Why do you think that night time safety strategies need to be different? Anyone who has worked a night shift will tell you it’s a very different experience to working in the day. Research shows that working at night, when our body’s natural internal clock expects us to be asleep, puts stresses and strains on physical and mental wellbeing. Certain disorders are more prevalent such as stomach complaints, cardiovascular disorders and depression. Night working can make life difficult because it conflicts with normal family and social life, potentially creating domestic tensions and a feeling of social isolation. Wellbeing can be further affected by having to eat at night and lack of sunlight during winter months. And in many organisations, the support services for staff are primarily available in traditional day-time office hours. Did you know we have a Mental Health First Aider programme? Click here to find out more about our commitment to employee health and wellbeing and what we’re doing to support our clients, contractors and colleagues alike. What support does Morson give night workers? We decided that we could eliminate some of the risks associated with moving from days to nights by employing a permanent night team. This helps workers avoid some of the physical and social disruption. We try as much as the work from the client permits to allocate shifts that are consistent, so our gangs typically work the same pattern every week, making planning their lives a little easier. This approach also allowed us to put a support network in place which is open for business when our night team are working. We have a manned night office with operations managers and a health and safety team on site, working while the night team are working. Bi-weekly meetings and regular forums give workers a space to discuss any issues, and we run toolbox talks on common issues related to night working such as fatigue. We have several qualified Mental Health First Aiders on the night team, and our Safety Bus does night visits, so our night staff can access the same support as their daytime colleagues. Morson’s occupational health provider is also there for us to call upon to assist where needed, for example with medication advice. Support begins before our workers join us and continues throughout. We issue new workers with a Night Workers’ Health Questionnaire, and their responses flag up anything that needs further action from the Morson health and safety team. We give new team members a full induction and brief them on the relevant health policies and support they can access. Then, our operations managers and PWT (Protecting Workers on the Track) representatives carefully monitor new night workers to ensure they settle in. Finally, we know night workers may be at greater risk of facing other experiences that require specialised support. For example, some of our night staff recently witnessed a stabbing incident between members of the public. They were all contacted and offered assistance from our employee assistant programme. What advice would you give CIRAS members wanting to adopt your approach? The most effective approach is to have a strong support team in place that can manage the operations and health and safety of the night team. A key challenge is ensuring that the arrangements follow legal requirements and best practice. A good place to start is to look at regulations and industry specific guidance such as the RISQS audit protocol and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website. Specific advice on night workers is also available from government sources such as the HSE and gov.uk websites. It’s then important that the company has the resources and people in place to implement those systems. Consider appointing an occupational health provider (this could be the same centre you book any medicals with). Having the right management and support team is also essential. Your top management must be actively involved and buy in to what needs to be done. A final challenge is to keep improving. It’s one thing coming up with a system and putting policies and procedures in place, but the key to success is to implement them and maintain over time. It’s important that you always seek to keep improving including keeping an eye on what is happening in the industry, for example with legislation. To read more about our continued commitment to health and safety, click here. Or, to find your next opportunity with Morson, click here.

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    How meditation affects your brain and improves job performance

    HEALTH & WELLBEING | 3 MIN READ Research suggests that practising meditation can change not only our behaviour and emotions but also the structure and functionality of our brain. Find out more about the benefits of meditation in the workplace. Download Morson's mental health toolkit for the workplace which explores how to approach a conversation around mental health. We all know how different kinds of mental activities can change the brain, crossword puzzles help increase neuroplasticity, playing an instrument enhances our brain function, speaking more than one language builds up our cognitive reserve and exercise promises vital brain food. But what effect does meditation have? Meditation and mindfulness are certainly hot topics at the moment and the mantra of repeat, refocus and re-centre may be a powerful way to boost the types of intelligence that matter most. Research suggests that practising meditation can change not only our behaviour and emotions but also the structure and functionality of our brain. In today’s stressful, fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to bring your awareness to the present. One of the best ways to do this, of course, is through meditation. The workplace can often be one of the biggest sources of stress in your life with anxiety and burnout lurking closely behind. But studies suggest that meditation can activity increase productivity too, with one 15-minute session of mediation resulting in a 22% reduction in mind-wandering at work. ​ "Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had." – Ray Dalio, successful philanthropist A study from the Max Planck Institute found that the three different types of meditation training are linked to changes in different brain regions. Participants, aged between 20 and 55, meditated for three months practising three different types of meditation: The Presence module – focussed awareness meditation where participants learned to focus their attention, bringing it back when it wandered, and to attend to the breath and to their internal body sensations. The Affect module – which helped to enhance empathy and compassion for others. The Perspective module – similar to mindfulness or open-monitoring meditation. This practice encouraged observing your own thoughts non-judgmentally and enhancing understanding of the perspectives of others. After the study the researchers scanned the participant's brains and found the following: Meditation in the ‘Presence’ module was linked to an enhanced thickness in the anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are known to be strongly involved in attention. ‘Affect’ meditation was linked to increased thickness in regions known to be involved in socially driven emotions such as empathy. Meditation in the ‘Perspective’ module was associated with changes in the brain that understand the mental states of others and inhibiting the perspective of yourself. The results show a direct correlation between the type of meditation and brain function, demonstrating how meditation can change the brain in just a short amount of time. The study is evidence that whilst shifting brain function, meditation can improve well-being, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. The benefits of meditation in the workplace There are many organisations that believe that meditation can make you a better leader with companies like Apple and Google offering free meditation classes for their employees. As this blog has explored, it is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and give you better insights into your daily life, including work. Below are four benefits of meditation in the workplace: Improved focus and productivity An improved mood and less stress Better relationships and teamwork Improved job satisfaction and engagement Mental wellbeing at Morson The topic of mental wellbeing isn’t new to us at Morson – it’s been part of our conversation for several years. Our activity has centred on creating a culture and working environment which is open, unbiased and inclusive, underpinned by professional support and resources for employees in need. As part of our ‘Morfit’ initiative which aims to encourage our employees to exercise at varying levels, we host twice-weekly Yoga classes where a trained yoga instructor visits our office to host a class. In May, we launched our Mental Health First Aider network which provides personal support across our UK office network and aims to weave a solid support network into our working culture. Find out more about our Mental Health First Aiders here. As part of our mental health awareness initiative, we have responded to employee feedback requesting more practical guidance around mental health in the workplace. As a result, we have created a new toolkit which looks at subjects such as signs and signals someone might be experiencing a mental health issue and how to approach a conversation around mental health. Click here to download the toolkit.

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    Morson takes Pride in its people with latest track campaign

    DIVERSITY & INCLUSION | 6 MIN READ Hundreds of Morson Track Operatives working on the London Underground are being given rainbow-striped laces for their safety boots in celebration and support of the LGBT community. As members of LGBT charity Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, Morson has committed to ensuring all of its candidates are encouraged to be themselves at work, driving performance, engagement and innovation. Read more about the Rainbow Laces campaign and Morson's ongoing commitment to diversity & inclusion. Hundreds of Morson Track Operatives working on the London Underground are being given rainbow-striped laces for their safety boots in celebration and support of the LGBT community. Manchester-headquartered Morson International, which supplies contingent and skilled labour across the UK rail infrastructure, is presenting each of its Track Operatives with the unmissable eye-catching laces. In addition to them forming part of the Operatives’ uniform, all contractors are being thoroughly briefed on the meaning behind the laces, whilst also receiving new training in fairness, inclusion and respect to encourage discussions and promote openness and acceptance. The introduction of the new laces follows the huge Pride celebrations that took place in the capital. Significantly, the initiative has been devised to run permanently, shining a spotlight on commitments by Morson and London Underground to continuously support the LGBT community. The laces are just one element of a wider commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion by Morson. As members of LGBT charity Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, Morson has committed to ensuring all of its candidates are encouraged to be themselves at work, driving performance, engagement and innovation.Through its involvement with Stonewall, Morson aims to collaborate, learn and share cutting-edge best practice and initiatives with its partners, equipping them with the skills to recruit diverse talent. “We do a lot of work behind the scenes to support LGBT communities and this campaign is about making that commitment visible,” says Gareth Morris, group director of health, safety, quality and environmental at Morson. “We’re looking to build a network of true allies, helping people to feel safe and welcome when they use the London Underground or join its workforce. It’s something that many of us take for granted, but we cannot underestimate the importance of visibly defining public spaces, such as the Tube as inclusive, safe places for everyone. “It was important to us that this wasn’t just a flash-in-the-pan campaign, meaning our Operatives will be proudly wearing the rainbow stripe permanently, just as our commitment to LGBT support is constant and lasting,” he added. As this campaign seeks to demonstrate support for LGBT workers in the industry, a number of initiatives are underway across the rail sector to promote diversity. TfL’s striking Pride campaign saw station signs transformed with the colours of three pride flags, representing Gay Pride, Bisexual Pride and Trans Pride. Not only did it embrace the More Colour More Pride movement in incorporating black and brown stripes into the rainbow flag to represent the BAME LGBT community, but 2019 marked the first use of the Bi Pride flag, with is pink and purple colourway. Catch up on the latest Diversity & Inclusion news from Morson From mum to management, postnatal depression and inspiring women into rail – Charlotte Curtis from First Group talks about her career #NPWAwards Nominations with Rebekah Lee, Head of Marketing - What makes an inclusive workplace? And why we need to go beyond gender diversity Morson and J Murphy & Sons Proudly Sponsor Women in Rail #TransformTheFuture Event Network Rail’s Archway network for LGBT employees also gives staff the opportunity to influence policy-making across the business and allows members to meet colleagues in more sociable settings through talks and events up and down the country. Sam Price, head of client engagement at Morson, added: “Working for equality, diversity and inclusion has real impact, not just on the lives of individuals from all walks of life, but in creating diverse cultures and broader empathy in workplaces across the country. We understand the complexities of widening participation in UK industry, and take our commitment to this very seriously." “The rail industry as a whole is working hard to improve diversity of all kinds, including its gender split and proportion of disabled, BAME and LGBT employees,” added Sam. “By collaborating with a number of organisations and taking inspiration from others, including those outside of our industry, it’s our goal to become a leader in diversity and inclusion for the rail industry.” Kate Williams, head of private memberships at Stonewall, concluded: “Wearing rainbow laces is a really positive way for Morson’s workers to show their support for lesbian, gay, bi and trans communities. Through our Diversity Champions programme, we’re working with Morson to help them build a truly inclusive workplace culture.” Find out more about our Rainbow Laces campaign and read about our wider diversity and inclusion initiative here.

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    Morson host 'Balls to That' event in partnership with the NAA | Tackling mental health, from rugby pitches to yoga mats

    MENTAL HEALTH EVENT | 2 MIN READ Morson was proud to host an event in partnership with the Northern Automotive Alliance, unlike any ordinary networking event The 'Balls to That': Tackling Mental Health, from rugby pitches to yoga mats event took attendees on a journey into workplace wellbeing Morson was proud to host an event in partnership with the Northern Automotive Alliance, unlike any ordinary networking event… The 'Balls to That': Tackling Mental Health, from rugby pitches to yoga mats took attendees on a journey into workplace wellbeing. We heard from deaf rugby star and veteran, Craig Monaghan, from Sale Sharks as he delivered his powerful ‘Balls to That’ mental health session in which he shared his personal experiences with PTSD and recovery. Shortly followed by a talk from Heather Deering, Morson’s health, wellbeing and engagement partner on how to effectively approach wellbeing in the workplace. Founded in 2004 with support from regional government funding and based in the North West, the NAA is an independent company which provides a membership service combined with a project management delivery function within the automotive community. The session was intentionally kept informal in order to allow attendees to find out more about how Morson approaches wellbeing in the workplace and to gain an insight into how similar initiatives could potentially be implemented in their respective businesses. ‘I’m fine’, ‘man up’, ‘grow a pair’ … Balls to That, let’s talk Craig’s army career ended abruptly when his battalion was attacked by the Taliban in one of the worst attacks on British soldiers in Afghanistan. Sadly, eight of his comrades died in the attack and Craig was left with brain damage, deafness and severe physical wounds. His challenges with mental health started here. The inspiring ‘Balls to That’ talk is designed to raise awareness of mental health symptoms and coping techniques, Craig uses his powerful, personal journey to educate others on how to tackle mental health head-on. Craig explained that the change in him happened like a switch… “One day I just said, no I’m not fine, I can’t shake this feeling – and that put me on the road to recovery” With the support of the people around him, he gradually began to open up and talk about his experiences. One of the main techniques he uses to stay on track is setting a goal each week, even if it’s something as simple as getting out of bed: “Just getting out of bed used to be a challenge so I’d set that as my goal, then went onto things like running to the end of the street, training for 5 minutes longer per day” Morson’s mental wellbeing journey The topic of mental health isn’t new to us at Morson – it’s been part of our conversation for several years and is a journey in which the whole business can learn and grow. Our activity has centred around creating a culture and working environment which is open, unbiased and inclusive, underpinned by professional support and resources for employees in need. Heather’s talk provided key takeaways about recognising the signs and symptoms of mental health difficulties, as well as insights into how business leaders can support their teams and how colleagues can support each other. Our mental wellbeing journey began three years ago when we launched MorFit, our fitness programme for employees. Being active is not only great for your physical health as evidence shows it can massively improve your mental wellbeing too. At Morson, staff are able to enjoy the use of our onsite gym in the basement of our head office, along with a schedule of fitness classes from body conditioning to yoga and low-intensity classes. As part of our mental health awareness initiative, we have responded to employee feedback requesting more practical guidance around mental health in the workplace. As a result, we have created a mental health toolkit for managers and colleagues. The toolkit explores subjects such as signs and signals someone might be experiencing a mental health issue and information on how to approach a conversation around mental health. Click below to download the toolkit.Our Managing Mental Health in the Workplace training module is now compulsory for anyone with line manager responsibilities. This course provides our line managers with the information and skills they need to identify, support and manage employees with mental health conditions, as well as imparting the understanding that supporting the mental health of their team is a key responsibility of being a line manager. In May we launched our Mental Health First Aider programme where a group of colleagues are trained to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill-health and provide help on a first aid basis in the same way that a physical first aider would. They’re able to recognise the warning signs of mental ill-health or emotional distress, approach discussions in a sensitive and non-judgemental manner, and guide people to appropriate resources if they need them. For us, putting Mental Health First Aiders in place across the business is a way of demonstrating that it’s okay to talk about mental health in the workplace and to encourage anybody who is experiencing distress to reach out for help. The event was a huge success and finished with an optional MorFit yoga session and networking hosted in our building. If you’re struggling with a mental health issue and would like to speak to someone or seek support, you can contact the Samaritans’ free helpline number 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 116 123.

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    Morson support both colleagues and contractors this #WorldMentalHealthDay

    WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY 2019 | 8 MIN READ​ This #WorldMentalHealthDay we reflect on the progress that we have made throughout the year in terms of raising awareness and the support that is now available to our colleagues and contractors. Throughout the day we will be sharing more information about what initiatives Morson has put in place and the positive impact these initiatives have had over the past year. ​Today marks #WorldMentalHealthDay2019. A day where the nation comes together for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10th October is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing. 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from mental health issues, although only around 30% seek help. So, today we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made throughout the past year in terms of raising awareness and the support that is now available to our colleagues and contractors if you, or someone you are concerned about, is experiencing a mental health issue. Launching the Morson Group Mental Health First Aider network In May we launched our Mental Health First Aiders programme where colleagues throughout our UK office network are trained to identify, understand, and help someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue. They are based all over the country and provide emotional support and guidance to our colleagues in branch offices, onsite and at our head office in Manchester. Identifiable by their white lanyards, they’re here to be a point of contact if you, or someone you are concerned about, is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional distress and are available to talk to over the phone, via email, or in person. We’ve had a fantastic response to implementing this support network at Morson. Heather Deering, our Health, Wellbeing and Engagement Partner spoke about some of the feedback we have received: “Everyone has embraced these initiatives with open arms; the reception has been invariably positive. We’ve had feedback that making mental health an ongoing and central point of focus has acted as an excellent catalyst to opening up the conversation among our employees and contractors, without anyone feeling self-conscious. This is really important to us as one of our main aims when we launched the initiative was to normalise conversations around mental health in the workplace. Our HR team have noticed an increase in the number of employees who disclose to us that they are living with mental health conditions. I don’t think this is representative of a true increase in people experiencing issues, but rather of those who feel comfortable letting us as a business know about them. This is so crucial because it allows us to reach out and offer support to our colleagues, ensuring we’re making sure their workplace is an environment for them to thrive. The thing is, not everybody wants or needs to take it up, but knowing it’s there is sometimes enough.” Heather discusses the scheme... We’ve implemented mental health in the workplace training Another initiative we have launched this year is our Managing Mental Health in the Workplace training module which is now compulsory for anyone with line manager responsibilities. This course provides our line managers with the information and skills they need to identify, support and manage employees with mental health conditions, as well as imparting the understanding that supporting the mental health of their team is a key responsibility of being a line manager. Heather added: “The training we’ve provided and continue to provide is also proving invaluable to our managers. I’ve had several instances of feedback and visible demonstration where training has changed perspectives, provided the confidence to approach discussions around mental health, or ability to deal with situations in a more assured manner.” We asked Heather if she could demonstrate the impact that implementing mental health initiatives into a business could really have. The impactful story she shared was so inspiring… “The best example I can think of to demonstrate the impact, actually happened very recently. One of our MHFAs conducted an intervention for a distressed member of the public who was intending to complete suicide at a railway station. With the help of a colleague she intervened, talking with the person to help de-escalate the situation, keeping them and everyone else involved safe until the emergency services arrived. When I spoke with this colleague after the incident, she said that she felt without a doubt that her MHFA training allowed her to confidently identify and deal with the situation on the day. She has since received a certificate and letter of thanks from the Samaritans for her actions, and we’re incredibly proud of her. Although this is of course an extreme example it provides a good indicator of how our training is having a real-life impact.” It might not just be a bad day - download our toolkit As part of our mental health awareness initiative, we have responded to employee feedback requesting more practical guidance around mental health in the workplace. As a result, we have created a new toolkit which looks at subjects such as signs and signals someone might be experiencing a mental health issue and how to approach a conversation around mental health. Click below to download the toolkit.

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    How Morson is supporting contractors with mental health initiatives #WorldMentalHealthDay

    Today marks #WorldMentalHealthDay2019. A day where the nation comes together for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10th October is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing. It’s estimated that one in four people experience at least one diagnosable mental health issue in any given year and at any one time. 15% have taken time off work due to mental health reasons. Of these, 28% were off work for more than a month. Throughout the day we have been reflecting on the internal initiatives that we have put in place over the past year to support our colleagues. But we also have a responsibility to care for our contractors too. Morson is dedicated to providing a safe working environment for our contractors and one where each person is fully aware of the support network in place if they, or someone they know, is experiencing a mental health issue. Mental health awareness on the tracks Throughout 2019 we have kick-started our mental health initiatives on the tracks. To provide an insight into what support is available for our rail workers, we sat down with Morson’s Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental Compliance Director, Gareth Morris: “We have introduced a network of mental health first aiders to provide support to contractors working on the London Underground, one of Morson’s main areas for rail workers. We had a number of rail workers come forward and volunteer to take the training which was delivered by Russell Kimble, Morson’s Night Operations Manager and HSQE advisor. Due to the nature of the job, working in rail can often see contractors working unsociable hours, research shows that working at night, when our body’s natural internal clock expects us to be asleep, puts stresses and strains on physical and mental wellbeing. That’s why we want to promote the availability of our mental health support to them as much as we can and we are looking to develop and enlarge the network of mental health first aiders even more to hopefully reach more people.” Available to both Morson colleagues and our rail contractors is the Employee Assistance Programme. The external phone line is a free service open 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s designed to provide you with professional, independent and impartial information, support, and counselling. The programme is a confidential service available to all employees. Qualified counsellors can provide advice and support to help you work through any concerns and deal with anxiety or stress. The programme’s information services can equip you with the essential knowledge to help you address everyday challenges or at work or in your personal life. Gareth added: “Overall, we want to ensure that our contractors lead a happy life, both physically, socially and mentally. We have multi-cultural workforce and we want to ensure that no one feels isolated and that if anyone feels that they need to reach out for help, they know they have people that they can talk to in confidence.” Tackling mental health in the workplace whitepaper Mental health is now a permanent part of the workplace, with figures from the Department of Health stating that one in four of us will experience mental illness at some point in our lives. At Morson, we have seen an increase in the number staff coming forward to express their own struggles with mental illness and seek support. This change in attitudes presented the opportunity to strengthen our own workplace priorities towards mental health by developing effective engagement strategies that tackle the core issues. In doing so, this has enabled us to attract and retain our talented people, driv­­­e productivity and innovation and reap numerous commercial benefits that set us apart from many of our competitors. Last year we launched our mental health whitepaper and pledged our support in stamping out stigma and creating inclusive, equal and diverse workplaces. Our guide aims to provide guidance on how to alter attitudes, spot the signs and tackle the issues. Click below to download.

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