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A healthy workforce enables a successful business. Studies show a direct link between levels of productivity and the health and wellbeing of a workforce, making worker well-being a key factor in determining the long-term success of an organisation and its effectiveness.
A full-time employee spends as much as 38% of their weekday at work, meaning the workplace can have either a positive or negative impact on a person’s physical and mental health; companies have a responsibility to ensure they prioritise and care for an employee’s emotional, social, mental and physical wellbeing at work. Protecting an employee from exposure to workplace hazards, as well as preventative activities to manage ill health and injury, seeks to deliver the best possible outcome and performance, both for the employee personally and for the business.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the growing importance of wellbeing, with increasing focus by business to invest in employee health and wellbeing in the workplace and bring this to the forefront of the corporate agenda.
Wood relies upon a healthy workforce to deliver the solutions we bring to our clients. From consulting services to global site operations and large-scale projects, the landscape of working at Wood varies across the disciplines we work in, as does the risk of ill health or injury to our people.
As a service provider, in many instances we operate under limited operational control. Working with our clients, we seek to deliver a standard of care for our people that meets our own, and global standards on occupational health and wellbeing. Recognising the human rights risks related to our operations, in particular our use of third-party suppliers and transient workers, we place a focus on worker welfare and the wider human rights agenda, as a material issue to Wood as part of our sustainability strategy.
Meeting the needs of our employees, helps to avoid workplace problems that without a focus on health and wellbeing may give rise to performance and productivity issues, as well as our ability to maintain a culture of care, and our ability to attract and retain our most vital resource – our people.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of health and wellbeing at a time of global restrictions. From employees working onsite to those adjusting to working from home, we remained focused on ensuring Wood provided adequate support throughout the pandemic.
The health and wellbeing of Wood employees is at the heart of our values and is driven by our HSSE policy which commits to both caring for our people, as well as preventing ill-health and injury. Our HSSE policy is supported by Wood’s Global Occupational Health Standards, which drives continuous improvement in our occupational health and wellbeing performance and is aligned to internationally recognised standards of practise with ISO 18001 and 45001 certifications in place across the business.
Guidance, training and self-assessment tools are made available to the business, to aid the implementation of our standards and approach to health protection.
Seeking to continually improve worker welfare, Wood is a founding member of the business led initiative Building Responsibly. Including a focus on health and wellbeing, our focus on worker welfare seeks to address fundamental worker rights in collaboration with our clients, industry, and civil society.
Learn more about Building Responsibly and our work on worker welfare on our human rights page.
In 2021, Wood announced two sustainability goals focused on our work to embed the 10 worker welfare principles of Building Responsibly across our supply base, of which principles 5 and 6 talk directly to ensuring work and living conditions are safe and healthy.
View the Building Responsibly home page.
Our Health and Wellbeing strategy
Our occupational health strategy focuses on both health and wellbeing by:
Together our HSSES and Health Protection standards apply a holistic approach to preventing workplace ill health and supporting employee wellbeing. Through the provision of training and awareness, we place a focus on the early identification of health hazards. We ensure appropriate measures are in place to provide our people with the skills and knowledge to create a healthy working environment and to help Wood to deliver a sustainable impact on the health and wellbeing of our workforce.
Wood has an established Living Well at Wood programme which continues to grow in popularity, supported by our wellbeing community of practice and over 500 wellbeing champions distributed across all locations in Wood. The programme provides tools and resources in areas such as physical, emotional, financial, and social wellbeing.
We also recognise and support World Health Organisation Awareness Day’s, particularly those that focus on topics applicable to our operations, such as malaria, hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV. One particular activity that has been hugely successful is ‘Around Wood in 30 days. To mark Wood’s Health Protection Week and World Health Day, we annually challenge ourselves to virtually travel around the world in 30 days, ‘stopping off’ in countries where Wood is present along the way. In 2021, Wood employees collectively travelled a grand total of 189,234,797 steps which took us around the world over 1.5 times!
Our wellbeing champions network also helps to promote awareness days throughout the business and allows effective communication on key messages, particularly on supporting mental wellness and conveying vital information around the risk of employees acquiring and spreading illnesses, and how this can be minimised.
Managing our Mental Health
We seek to support the Education of our people on the importance of mental health, not just related to a disability or illness, instead recognising this represents a continuum in which we all live and experience fluctuating levels throughout our lives.
Wood’s global Mental Wellness Strategy, a six-point approach to mental health management, enables a business-wide approach to mental health, contributing to Wood’s sustainability aspirations and contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 on Good Health and Wellbeing. Our Mental Wellness Strategy aspires to create a supportive and inclusive culture that acknowledges the positive contribution that mental wellness has on creating the conditions necessary for the pursuit of personal and professional success and wellbeing.
Overcoming Covid-19 challenges
Caring for our people as we continue to deal with COVID-19, remains our number one priority. The implementation of our flexible working policy has further enhanced our ability to offer our people a better work life balance. However, in turn this also presents an additional health related risk around isolation and poor mental health, requiring additional measures to prevent serious harm.
In response, we accelerated the implementation of company-wide wellbeing resources, including a global Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) service, mental health library and line managers guides to improving mental health for employees. Management at all levels have continued to engage extensively with staff to understand and respond to the stresses placed on them as a result of the pandemic.
We also continue to closely monitor the situation with respect to emerging variants through our Occupational Health monitoring system and anticipate that in the longer term we will continue to require annual boosters to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and to address the potential for new variants that will always exist.