Category Archives: Havio News

World Meditation Day – 21st May 2020

Today is World Meditation Day. This has picked up quite some momentum over the past number of years and its benefits now more than ever, are being experienced by millions of people across the world. Modern life can feel relentless and stressful, but with the right tools, we all have the potential to be healthier and happier. See our article from Jack Rumbol on how meditation has benefited him:

 

Jack’s Meditation Journey

 

What brought you to meditation?

I have been practicing meditation on and off for a few years mainly focussing on the Headspace App, however this ran its natural course and after around 12 months of daily practice I stopped. Then, in between Christmas and New Year 2018/2019 my world caved in, within the space of one week I lost my nan followed by my brother who suddenly passed away aged 34. My world was turned upside down overnight! Over the next few months I was lost and turned to many destructive behaviours whilst trying to look after my young family and run a business at the same time, this culminated in a week long blow out in Ibiza for a friend’s wedding! On the flight back I happened to stumble upon a British Airways magazine and an article on a London based meditation teacher called Will Williams who was having a revolutionary effect on thousands of people to whom he taught, this is where the main journey started.

 

What did this involve?

On a bright July morning I visited Wills home in Hoxton, London, he lives in a beautiful apartment overlooking Hoxton Square the perfect setting to learn a transformational life skill. The meditation course was spread out over 3 days. Day 1 I was given a personal mantra which is personal to me, this is then repeated in your head throughout the meditation. Day 2 I was given the low-down on how to meditate with confidence and integrate this practice into my daily life. Day 3 during this beginner’s meditation class, we refined my practice and deepened my understanding of the technique.

 

How do you meditate?

When meditating you are asked to sit in a comfortable position and shut your eyes, the key point is you are not meant to avoid thinking or clear your mind, all you need do is softly repeat your mantra in your head. Invariably you can get caught up in thoughts and emotions but all you need do is nonchalantly steer yourself back to your mantra and start again.

 

How often do you meditate?

Twice a day for 20 minutes each with some time spent before preparing and afterwards integrating back into the present. Recently my practice has advanced which means an hour each morning is spent “Rounding” which is a mixture of gentle yoga poses, a breathing exercise, 20 minutes meditation followed by 10 minutes in Shavasna pose (Lying flat on the floor).

 

What have the benefits been?

The benefits have been numerous, and they continue to expand the further along the path I go, the below is a summary of some of the benefits I have experienced:

  • Helps heal past trauma including the loss of my brother
  • I have become calmer and more present, less future orientated
  • It has helped me become a better husband and father, more in tune to others needs
  • It has helped me become a better leader
  • It gives you a zing of energy, so it has made life easier when you do not sleep as much with 3 kids 😊
  • Has enabled me to lead a healthier life
  • I have integrated with my wife and 3 children

 

Where can I find out more?

Head to www.beejameditation.com or just enter meditation into Google and there are loads of great tools to help you.

Mental Health Awareness Week 18th – 24th May 2020

This year, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Kindness’. One thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times.  

We have learnt that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope. 

The added benefit of helping others is that it is good for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress and improve your emotional wellbeing. 

How important is kindness to you?

The Mental Health Foundation has conducted a new survey into kindness, which has found almost two-thirds of us say that when people are kind to them, it has a positive impact on their mental health.

The results also found that almost two-thirds of people find that being kind to others has a positive impact on their mental health and almost three-quarters of us say it is important we learn from the coronavirus pandemic to be more kind as a society.

48% percent of the people surveyed said being kind “to myself” had a positive impact on their mental health.

 

The benefits of kindness

Being kind can significantly improve our physical and emotional wellbeing – whether we are giving or receiving it.

There have even been scientific studies into the effects of kindness, showing that acts of kindness help your immune system, reduces stress, gives you energy and are good for your heart!

The power of being kind goes even further, it has been proven to slow ageing, improve relationships and it’s contagious!

 

Good for your heart

Kindness can change the chemicals in our body.

Committing acts of kindness produces a hormone in the body called oxytocin, sometimes called the ‘kindness hormone’ and the ‘cardioprotective hormone’. Which means it protects our hearts!

Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which opens up the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. It is the main contributor to keeping our hearts healthy after exercise.

This important hormone also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re feeling anxious, nervous or shy.

 

It’s contagious

Kindness can spread far and wide pretty quickly!

The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone – whether you are giving, receiving or observing kindness. This improves their mood and makes them significantly more likely to act kindly themselves.

Kindness creates a ripple effect that can improve the day of loads of people!

 

Slows ageing

One of the factors that plays a role in the aging process is oxidative stress – which is an imbalance in your body.

Scientists found that if you introduced oxytocin (the kindness hormone) to skin cells put under stress, the levels of oxidative stress got significantly reduced.

 

Gives us energy

Engaging in acts of kindness can give us more energy. A study by the University of California Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center showed that people feel stronger and more energetic after helping others.

 

Makes you feel happy

Alongside oxytocin, being kind also produces serotonin in your body. This is often called the ‘happy chemical’ and has been found to heal your wounds, calm you down, and improve your mood.

When you are kind to another person your brain’s pleasure and reward centres light up, which makes you feel good.

 

Reduces stress and anxiety

Having low levels of the chemical serotonin in the body has been linked to anxiety and depression.

So kindness can help as it increases serotonin. When we’re kind we get the opposite emotional and physical effects on our body to when we are stressed.

A study by the University of British Columbia found that kind people have 23% less cortisol – the stress hormone – and age slower than average.

In their research, a group of highly anxious people did at least six acts of kindness a week. After one month, there was a significant increase in their positive moods, their relationships with other people had improved, and they avoided social situations less.

 

Supports your immune system

How you feel emotionally can physically effect your immune system – which is the system in the body that helps fight off infection and viruses.

If you feel a connection with someone either by being kind to them, someone being kind to you, or even seeing kindness in action it can spike the immune system into action.

 

Reduces pain

Kindness produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller. Endorphins are hormones that deal with stress and reduce feelings of pain.

 

It’s important to be kind to yourself as well 

Whatever you can manage today is good enough. Some people feel that the lockdown is giving them the time and chance to learn new skills or try new things. That may be you, and if so, enjoy and celebrate that.

If this isn’t you, try not to beat yourself up about what you see others doing. If things are hard right now, try and find some small things to celebrate each day. Getting up and washing your hair can be just as much of an achievement as someone else posting about a 5k run on Instagram.

Try to tune out the voice of judgement and comparison and tune in to the voice that says you are enough.

 

Be kind to yourself 

Prioritise some “me” time, so you can relax and reflect on how you’re feeling and how your day or week has been so far

Turn off from your social media channels for a day, or even a week

Treat yourself to something small, such as buying or planting some flowers

Do something you enjoy, like listening to a favourite song or dancing in your kitchen

Spend some time in nature, which is good for our mental health

 

Useful organisations and information

Mental Health Foundation

Our vision is of good mental health for all. The Mental Health Foundation works to prevent mental health problems. We will drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families and individuals to lead mentally healthy lives with a particular focus on those at greatest risk. The Foundation is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Action for Happiness

Action for Happiness is a movement of people committed to building a happier society. They also run the International Day of Happiness.

Do-it

Volunteering made easy. Quickly find ways to help in your community by searching their online database of volunteering opportunities in your area.

 Kindness UK

Promoting, sharing and uniting kindness. Take part in the first ever nationwide kindness survey.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2020

The annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.

Recognizing the great challenge that governments, employers, workers and whole societies are facing worldwide to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work will focus on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Concern is growing over the continuing rise in COVID-19 infections in some parts of the world and the ability to sustain declining rates in others. Governments, employers, workers and their organizations face enormous challenges as they try to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and protect safety and health at work. Beyond the immediate crisis, there are also concerns about resuming activity in a manner that sustains progress made in suppressing transmission.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work will focus on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, focussing on the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is to stimulate national tripartite dialogue on safety and health at work. The ILO is using this day to raise awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces and the role that occupational safety and health (OSH) services play. It will also focus on the medium to long-term, including recovery and future preparedness, in particular, integrating measures into OSH management systems and policies at the national and enterprise levels.

In the face of a pandemic – Ensuring Safety and Health at Work

Employee Spotlight – Raquel Janeiro

Raquel Janeiro – Health and Safety Partner

What is your role within Havio?

I am a Health and Safety Partner at Havio. As a Health and Safety Partner, I am a key staff member who provides H&S solutions to a wide range of clients within different risk profiles. My aim is to support our clients in line with Havio’s vision to change perceptions of Health and Safety and raise standards and awareness across the industry.

What makes you happiest at work?

I believe that healthy relationships are very important in everyone’s lives. I am of the opinion that as humans, the relationships we form with other people are vital to our mental and emotional wellbeing, and ultimately, our survival. As a Health and Safety Partner at Havio, I am given the opportunity to build new positive relationships with clients every day. This positive relationship enables me to support and encourage clients to perform their best within their working environment, so that they can go home safely at the end of a working day and continue to build positive relationships with their loved ones at home.

Therefore, being able to build relationships everyday with new people and ensure they can do the same is what makes me happiest at work.

Is there a specific area of Health and Safety which interests you the most?

Given that I have a background in rehabilitation and injury prevention, I have always demonstrated great interest in ergonomics, which is the study of how people work in their environments. And, as a result, when I conducted my Masters dissertation I decided to focus my research topic on “The relationship between work-related stressors and musculoskeletal disorders”. I thoroughly enjoyed conducting this research.

If you could learn anything, what would it be?

If I could learn anything it would be to learn every single language there is and learn to fly. I could then fly to every single country in the world and communicate easily with everyone in their native language.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you’d do?

Treat my amazing parents to anything they like.

What’s your favourite indoor/outdoor activity?

Sorry, I will be really boring on this one. Favourite indoor activity, reading. Favourite outdoor activity, going to the gym or any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up outdoors.

What is your favourite music?

Old school R&B and Jazz.

What is on your bucket list?

A lot. But one thing in particular that I would love to do is to take a hot air balloon ride.

A message from Jack and Rob

With all the media surrounding Covid-19 we have decided to issue an update to keep in touch and provide you with some useful information.

If you need to speak to us for any reason please do not hesitate to call the office number – 0333 577 0248. You may not be able to speak to who you normally speak to due to some of the team being furloughed, but we are able to continue with supporting you in this difficult time through various members of the team still working.

We are planning to make contact in various ways over the next few weeks including posts, newsletters and phone calls but we are of course happy to hear from you should you need any help.

Please remember to follow our news and insights page to keep up to date. Here you can see updates and announcements regarding many areas of Health and Safety but also advice on Covid-19, RIDDOR,  Safe Operating Procedures and working from home in the current climate. We have also posted a Q and A session on Coronavirus that you may find useful.

Our classroom based trainer led training sessions have been postponed for obvious reasons but our eLearning portal is still up and running including a new Covid-19 awareness course. If you would like to discuss training over Zoom or Teams please get in contact.

We have been working closely with the construction industry to design and implement management arrangements for the Coronavirus and protection of workers on construction sites in line with the Governments Safe Operating Procedures in order to return to work safely.

Several of our staff have signed up to the “Your NHS Needs You” volunteer army to help their communities and we have seen some fantastic acts of kindness on social media and locally.

We have been working away on our software project with our developers to come up with the very best system for completing our reports and making these available for updates on line. It’s still early days but the initial testing is underway and we love what we see so far.

We have started completing “virtual site inspections” on some of our projects which obviously has its challenges and limitations but we have really started to appreciate the various apps and media available that helps us keep in touch and connected. Again, please get in touch to discuss these for your project.

We have been working continuously throughout the lock down with the main challenges being uncertainty and lack of control and we are well aware that we share this with most of the world. We are learning and adjusting daily to the challenges for our own business but also supporting our clients in the sensible and practical application of Health and Safety which is still about protecting people and getting them home at the end of the day. Coronavirus is a hazard that like all other hazards, needs to be assessed and controlled and we can help you with this process through our knowledge of safe operating procedures and specific multiple control measures that can be applied in various environments.

We are desperately sad at the news of the many, many deaths being caused by Covid-19 and we would like to offer our thanks and appreciation the NHS and the many other essential workers in these difficult times. We are also wishing anyone recovering from the disease a hasty recovery.

 

Jack Rumbol & Rob Anderson

Havio Q&A

We wanted to let you know what Havio has been up to recently during these unprecedented times and we thought a simple Q and A might be useful.

Q: Is Havio still operating?

A: Yes but not as we were, we are still available and providing important advice and guidance on not only Covid-19 but all other areas of Health and Safety where we can, as well as other areas of support for those working still, either at home or elsewhere in all sorts of environments.

Q: Is Havio having to furlough staff?

A: Yes, unfortunately we have had to furlough some of our team who are all itching to get back to work! (so they keep telling us) We keep in contact in several ways on a regular basis to check in on everyone as well! We have used “Microsoft Teams” and “Houseparty” recently and had quizzes and other games via these apps so we can keep in contact with each other. Our staff have been so supportive and understanding and we are looking forward to getting them all back together in the future.

Q: Can I still call for advice?

A: Yes, please call or email us as you normally would, you may not speak to the same person you usually do but one of us will be able to help. NB: due to some staff being on furlough not all emails are being checked as regularly so please ensure that your email is re-directed to the contact on the out-of-office to ensure your enquiry is not missed or call the office landline which is redirected to our mobiles.

Q: What about Covid-19 related advice and concerns?

A: Obviously we are not medical professionals or politicians but we are helping with planning and setting out control measures for some industries who are still operating and others who will hopefully be up and running in the near future. We are helping many of our construction clients in terms of managing risk and complying with the “Safe Operating Procedures for Construction Sites” that has been issued by the government to protect sites and workers. If you need any advice or have any concerns please get in touch as normal and we can assist where we can.

Q: What about training and elearning?

A: We have not been able to deliver our planned courses for obvious reasons but our eLearning capability is still in full operating mode, now with a Covid-19 training session as well. With many persons working from home at the moment, now is an opportunity to get that H&S awareness training completed which we don’t always find the time to do in our busy work lives.

Q: Do I have to report Covid-19 cases under RIDDOR?

A: Yes – This has changed recently and now the HSE have issued guidance on incidents and diseases in relation to Covid -19 which will appear on our News and Insights page shortly. In short the guidance has confirmed that RIDDOR will now apply in certain circumstances in relation to Covid-19.

Q: What can we do to ensure people are homeworking safely?

A: We believe communication is key here, sending out assessments may not be the best way of addressing concerns and we have already issued guidance on what the HSE have advised as well as exercise regimes and flexible working arrangements. Keep speaking with your teams to see how they are getting on and ask about comfort and planning of works. Regular check ins and conversations will help with reducing the lone working boredom that can happen and equally if someone has too much to do then a chat could be so helpful. Follow the steps and guidance made available by the HSE and ourselves and try and be flexible.

Q: What does the future look like for Havio?

A: The future is uncertain for everyone, we believe in being optimistic and positive but also realistic. Our working methods in the future may well change and our approach will be to change with the times and keep supporting our clients. We are forward thinkers and planners and we believe we have what it takes to not only get through the current crisis but come out stronger.

Q: What if my business is having problems and difficulties?

A: Talk to us, we are great listeners as well as advisors.

Winter well-being at work – January Blues

January is traditionally seen as a time of great hope and optimism for the New Year; a moment to make plans and create lists of resolutions. However, the first few weeks of January are often perceived as a challenging time for the workforce from a mental well-being perspective and for those with a mental health issue. Blue Monday is the third Monday in January, and is said to be the most depressing day of the year. 

Dark mornings and short days, compounded by cold wet weather and, for some, the arrival of credit card bills demanding payment for the excesses of Christmas, can certainly make January a difficult month for some. Add to that the pressure some people feel in the month following the festive season to stick to hopeful New Year’s resolutions and undo the excesses of the festive season whilst battling virulent seasonal colds, and it’s easy to see why January can be quite gloomy.

One study, by consultancy Mercer, claims that sick leave is at its highest rate in January  more than a third of all sick days are taken in this month, according to its research. Additionally, Monday is the most common day for sickness.

Employers have a legal responsibility for the Health and Safety of their employees and need to be aware of their responsibilities under the law, but also understand the wider benefits to the business of having a healthy, happy and mentally fit workforce.

What do employees want?

The 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer revealed a few employee desires that aren’t in the top three employer offers which are good pensions, free parking and flexible working. The study took a multi-perspective approach and collected information from 800 business executives and 1800 HR leaders, as well as 5000 employees across 21 industries. Among the findings, Mercer identified three factors that employees are looking for in a company. This included limiting out of hours communication, a commitment to health and well-being and working with a purpose.

Out of hours communication – Just about everyone is contactable all of the time these days and it’s often hard to ignore emails and messages when they come in, even if it can wait until Monday morning. Lidl has recently announced that their staff in Belgium would be banned from sending internal emails between 6pm and 7am to relieve their staff from the perceived responsibility to be contactable at all times. It may make you think, as an employer, about how sending emails out of hours might affect the recipient and put them under unnecessary pressure. If you don’t require an immediate response but just want to tick it off your ‘things to do’ list, consider setting up a time delay or create a draft to send early the next working day instead.

Health and well-being – Workplace wellness initiatives do more than just promote healthy habits. They show employees that their employers truly care about their health and well-being. 50% of employees would like to see a greater focus on well-being at their company. Havio is working towards having its own wellness programme and currently offers yoga sessions and lunch and learn sessions when it’s an employees birthday with cake and games.

Working with a purpose – Many employees feel that they are just working for a paycheck and aren’t contributing to the greater good of society. Without a sense of purpose, it’s difficult for employees to connect with their work and their company. Working with a sense of purpose boosts employee motivation, productivity, morale, and overall job satisfaction. In order for employers to provide purpose to employees, employers should create a company vision, show recognition, express gratitude, let employees know how their job impacts the company and clients, frequently discuss the meaning and value of the company, share customer success stories and ditch tunnel vision and focus on the bigger picture.

Software Project Update

Since August 2019 Havio has been engaged on a bold and exciting project to develop the next generation of Health and Safety Software that will drive innovative, intelligent and agile solutions to our clients and the markets that we operate within.

Havio firmly believes that data is the future with regards to managing Health and Safety effectively, and this is the reason we have obsessed for so long on developing our own systems rather than rely on an external software platform.

The new software system will allow us to:
1. Complete a wide range of Health and Safety Inspections & Assessments, which allows for more time to be spent engaging with the workforce rather than form filling.
2. Collect and analyse data to produce real time dashboards providing compliance overview, trend analysis and identification of hot spots. This will help to ensure intelligent use of budget and improving safety performance on site.
3. Develop bespoke inspection / assessment solutions with a range of bespoke options on scoring algorithms and outputs.
4. Provide information in a clear, concise manner giving our customers the right information to manage their risks in real time from any electronic device.
5. Allow our clients access to reports and the ability to update actions in real time and therefore reducing management time and building due diligence.

As is common with many software projects some delays are unavoidable, especially when trying to deliver such an ambitious project without a dedicated project manager! The project is now entering the testing phase, this being a crucial time to ensure that all aspects of the system are working as required and that inevitable bugs are found and removed.

Our ambition is to release the software in phases throughout 2020. Phase 1 will be the implementation of the software to our construction contractors, beginning in April 2020. Phase 2 will be to launch the assessment functionality for our built environment team. Phase 3 and beyond will be about launching the software to our clients so that they can start to manage their Health and Safety obligations through the system and then making continual improvements to ensure our clients receive the best service possible.

Havio is aware that any major changes, such as this need to be communicated in the correct way. We will be in touch with our clients in early 2020 to discuss the changes and see how best this can be implemented.

If you would like more information on the project or if you would like to chat about any of the above please contact Jack Rumbol – [email protected] or 0333 577 0248.

Employee Spotlight – Jack Rumbol

Jack Rumbol – Managing Director

What is your role within Havio?

I am the Managing Director, my responsibilities are to lead and direct the business in line with our business strategy – this means having oversight of all areas of the business from Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance and HR. The role is challenging but extremely rewarding with no two days ever being the same.

 

What are you trying to achieve at Havio?

We are driven by a clear mission, that is to change the negative perception of the Health and Safety Industry and at the same time create long term partnerships with our clients. The company has been operating as a wholly owned business since 2009 and in this time, we have grown steadily and sustainably from a 2 person partnership to what we are today as a business employing 20 people. Our ambitions are to continue to build the company focussing on our two most important stakeholders: Our staff and clients. We are not driven by extrinsic motivations so you won’t see us saying our ambition is to be the biggest or best – we will let others be the judge of that.

 

What makes you happiest at work?

There are two main areas:

Hearing positive feedback from our clients, especially if this is centred around shifting their perceptions of our industry.

Seeing team members grow in their role and progress their careers.

 

What are your hopes with regards to the Health and Safety Industry?

The world of work is evolving at a rapid rate, what may be relevant now could be irrelevant within 2-3 years. That brings many challenges, but also opportunities and it is the responsibility of those within our industry to remain current and up-to date with these changing dynamics. I would like to see a world in which people are treated as the solution to issues and not the problem, this can only be achieved by having a strong culture with a strong knowledge of human behaviours.

 

Is there a specific area of Health and Safety which interests you the most?

That is an easy one: Construction. This is the industry which I have operated in for the past 17 years. Working with all duty holders under CDM is something that I actively enjoy, be that working with a large-scale residential developer who wants to build a 32 storey tower block in Central London or working on small residential schemes with a contractor – I love it all.

 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Spending time with my wife and 3 children

Travelling to new places

Eating out in nice restaurants

Gym, yoga and meditation

Havio is proud to announce APS membership

Havio is proud to announce that we have recently attained corporate membership of the Associate of Project Safety (APS).

The Association for Project Safety is a leading professional institution in the field of construction health and safety risk management. They play a leading role in helping the industry meet the many challenges of implementing The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 effectively and proportionately, and driving the new focus on health.

Havio obtained membership following a flawless assessment by APS assessors. Our Technical Director, Rob Anderson, worked with the APS on our assessment and was extremely pleased to have received no non-conformance’s.

“We are extremely proud to have obtained our membership with APS which reaffirms not only our procedures but more importantly our application of them when supporting our clients within the construction sector.”

Rob Anderson, Technical Director