Category Archives: Havio News

World Mental Health Day – Mental Health for All

This Saturday, 10th October, is World Mental Health Day 2020, with the theme of ‘mental health for all.’

Of course the world is currently preoccupied by a different health issue, with the COVID-19 pandemic already causing over a million deaths. Lives are being cut short, millions of people are being plunged into the pain of grief which comes with the unexpected loss of a loved one, and many more are suffering long-term repercussions of the virus.

But while we make every effort to fight this unprecedented illness, it’s vital to remember COVID-19 isn’t the only player in town and to ensure other issues aren’t side-lined. We already know many diseases and conditions aren’t being prioritised as they would under normal circumstances, and mental health falls within this category. It may be less obvious or diagnosable than the spread of COVID-19, but an even bigger mental health pandemic has been quietly progressing for many, many years. It is being accelerated by the current situation, with 60% of adults and 68% of young people in the UK feeling their mental health deteriorated during lockdown, and it will remain long after COVID-19 is brought under control.

Dr Ingrid Daniels, President of the World Federation for Mental Health, writes:

“The current worldwide pandemic arose against an already dire mental health landscape that saw mental health conditions on the rise across the globe. About 450 million people live with mental disorders that are among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide (WHO’s World Health Report, 2001). One person in every four will be affected by a mental disorder at some stage of their lives while mental, neurological and substance use disorders exact a high toll on health outcomes, accounting for 13% of the total global burden of disease (WHO, 2012).

The World Health Organization (2018) states that every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide. Annually, this represents over 800 000 people that die by suicide, which is more than people dying by war and homicide put together. For every suicide, there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds while 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families, communities and entire countries and has long-lasting and devastating effects on the people left behind.

This bleak picture necessitates that we ensure that mental health is prioritised now more than ever before..”

The Health and Safety industry has a crucial role to play in protecting the mental health of people within the workforce. Sadly, despite some amazing individuals and groups working extensively in this area, the industry as a whole is slow to exert its influence and take consistent, long-lasting action.

Initiatives such as World Mental Health Day are incredibly helpful in raising awareness of mental health issues, but it’s all too easy for companies to show their support once a year because it looks good for corporate social responsibility, and then to forget about it for another 12 months. What’s needed is a deeper, more consistent approach to protecting mental health, backed up by real, practical change.

Here are just a handful of the ways the Health and Safety industry can make a tangible difference to the management of mental health in the workplace.

Get board-level buy in

We must be honest with ourselves and ask if we’re doing the right things to positively influence directors and senior managers around mental health. And if not why not? As a profession we need to understand barriers and concerns, and work with senior leaders to show them there is a way to deal sensibly with this subject. We need to accentuate the huge benefits that are realised when staff work with good mental health. There are some fantastic examples of UK organisations, both large and small, who live and breathe mental health protection. What do they have that others do not? From experience it comes down to two areas; leadership and culture.

Promote adoption of ISO45003

ISO45003 Occupational Health and Safety management – Psychological Health and Safety at work: managing psychosocial risks, is due out in 2021. The standard is intended to sit alongside ISO45001 and has been painstakingly put together by leading academics, psychologists and practitioners. While it may take time to gain traction, the standard will underpin mental health in the workplace over the coming years, and we should encourage its adoption.

Build greater awareness

Awareness of mental health has improved significantly in the last five years but there is still so much more to be done. Creating engaging initiatives within the workplace to build awareness of what mental health is and illustrate how people can make changes to their lives is of the upmost importance. Even simple actions such as sharing this World Mental Health Day calendar with actions staff can take for better mental health can be effective. Because mental health needs to be viewed holistically, rather than in work and personal life silos, we specifically need to break down barriers around making suggestions or recommendations that are not directly work related.

Work cohesively with HR

When mental health issues arise in the workplace it is often unclear whether it is the responsibility of Human Resources or Health and Safety teams to take control of the situation. Greater clarity is needed, and ideally a cohesive approach where both teams work together to ensure a satisfactory outcome is achieved for the individual.

Upskill Health and Safety professionals

Understanding of complex health issues is growing, particularly around mental health. Sadly, the training required to work as a Health and Safety practitioner has not yet caught up. This situation results in a large majority of practitioners focussing on the more obvious safety hazards and less on the health risks, particularly around mental health, which by their very nature are not always immediately apparent. Upskilling Health and Safety practitioners in health-related subjects will help to address this imbalance.

Support mental health first aid

Following on from the great work of the MHFA social enterprise and its partners, it would be great to see mental health first aid training become a mandatory requirement for companies within the UK. Encouraging all businesses to undertake training and appoint mental health first aiders is a step in the right direction.

It’s easy to brush mental health issues aside, especially as the world deals with a more obvious pandemic. But good mental health is a fundamental human right and it is time we collectively ensure this is available to everyone regardless of race, religion, sex, creed or upbringing. By acting consistently and using our influence in board rooms and workplaces across the globe, the Health and Safety industry can fulfil its vital role in making mental health protection a top priority for all business leaders.

 

Written by Jack Rumbol

Havio is pleased to announce CHAS and APS Accreditation for Principal Designer

We are delighted to announce that Havio is now accredited to deliver Principal Designer duties and responsibilities by both the Association of Project Safety (APS) and CHAS.

These accreditations provide our Clients comfort that both as an organisation and as individuals, we meet the key competencies demanded by Health & Safety legislation and law. They also provide evidence that we are compliant with both bodies high and demanding standards.

Our APS and CHAS accreditations also confirm that as an independent Health & Safety consultant service, our competencies meet, and are in line with SSIP Core Criteria and UK Health and Safety Legislation.

What drives us is to constantly demand more than from ourselves than meeting a standard, we are committed to exceeding these competencies and delivery industry leading consultant services to all our Clients.

Employee Spotlight – Jake Denney

Jake Denney – Director 

What is your role within Havio?

To manage, develop and inspire our consultant team, to provide structure and process that delivers added value to our Clients and to support and assist our leadership team in delivering industry leading Health & Safety services.

What makes you happiest at work?

Being part of an energetic, dedicated team of professionals, all wanting to be the best.

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

The delivery and application of the CDM Regulations at all levels and stages. There is so much more CDM can do for the construction industry than ensure duty holder compliance at an operational level of a project.

If you could learn anything, what would it be?

To read, write and understand every language that has been on our planet.

Where is your favourite place to be?

Wherever my friends and family are…

Where is the best place you’ve travelled to and why?

In the late 70’s my Dad tok my brother and I to America. Whilst there we visited the Kennedy Space centre and I absolutely blew my mind. I have memories that feel like they happened yesterday and as I have grown older and learnt more about mankind’s journey to the moon, it inspires me to be the best I can be and that anything is achievable when working with an amazing group of people dedicated to the success of the mission.

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

Take time to determine how I can use this money to help others.

What’s your favourite indoor/outdoor activity?

I love playing golf and kart racing, both of which I can do indoors and outdoors….!!!!

What is your favourite music?

That depends on my mood, I have an eclectic taste that stretches across almost every Genre. It means I can always find something that makes me feel good.

What phobias do you have?

Fast Food, it scares me how much I like it.

What is on your bucket list?

Not having any regrets at the end, having more friends than enemies, and being proud of what I have achieved in my work life. From a material perspective, owning a Porsche, racing GT Cars, learning to fly, being a scratch golfer.

What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

No idea? All the jobs I have had seemed normal to me, even being a H&S professional.

What is your favourite meal?

Something that I am enjoying with friends and family, as long as it starts with sea food, has steak as the main course and finishes with crème brulee.

Employee Spotlight – Kelly Shiels

Kelly Shiels – Health and Safety Partner

What is your role within Havio?

I am a Health and Safety Partner, working primarily with clients who have a duty holder role under CDM Regulations. I am more focused on providing CDM advice to clients who undertake the Principal Designer, Designer or Client roles. I also take on Contractor/Principal Contractor advisory roles and provide competent advice to our clients from varied risk profiles and industries.

What makes you happiest at work?

Having variety in my day and working with a great bunch of people!
The Havio team are a lot of fun and I feel we all get along on a personal level, as well as being able to rely on and support each other professionally. We’re all on board the same “Havio journey” with similar vested interests, and this makes for a friendly working environment. I’m also fortunate to have formed good relationships with some of our long-standing client teams. I enjoy visiting their sites and offices and being exposed to their own positive company culture.

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

There are a few to be honest! I really enjoy undertaking CDM reviews of designs at masterplan level, and particularly those that are of “grand design”. I enjoy the analytical side of safety, through interpreting raw data and presenting it in a meaningful way for our clients. I find safety culture and the various  perceptions of what safety means to each individual and sub-culture, quite fascinating, and something I’d really like to explore.

If you could learn anything, what would it be?

Languages. From national languages, sign language, computer code…all of them.

Where is your favourite place to be?

With my Scottie Dog.

What’s your favourite indoor/outdoor activity?

I’m a big fan of board games and outdoor social activities (hiking, sunshine park vibes) . Being a tourist in your own city is also a lot of fun when travel is not necessarily an option.

What is your favourite music?

The non-screaming variety.

Martin Wybrow – CMIOSH

Everyone at Havio would like to congratulate Martin Wybrow on achieving his Chartered Membership of IOSH. Reaching Chartered Status is the Gold Standard within the Health and Safety Profession and means you have completed extensive professional qualifications, two years’ of Initial Professional Development (IPD) and have undertaken a peer review.

 

Havio are investing heavily in our staff through our ground breaking Employee Development Programme (EDP), this ensures our people are continually developing no matter what their level of experience. A key element of this is our internal training we have developed on key “soft skills” which in our opinion are equally, if not more important than professional qualifications. Watch this space for more detail on how we are making this a reality within Havio.

Beeja Meditation

We are delighted to have teamed up with Beeja Meditation to offer a beginner’s meditation class to all the Havio Team. The course has been offered to assist our people in staying calm in times of stress, over three sessions they will be guided expertly by Will Williams as detailed below:

Session 1 – Each member of the team will be given a personal sound (Mantra) and guided into their first meditation session.

Session 2 – They will be given the low-down on how to meditate with confidence and integrate this practice into daily life.

Session 3 – During this class they will learn techniques to refine their practice and deepen their understanding of the technique.

 

The benefits of the course will be:

  • Reduced stress & anxiety
  • Improved sleep both quantity and quality
  • Improved focus and productivity
  • Feeling of being more connected

 

Jack Rumbol – Managing Director of Havio says:

“Having been a student of Beeja for over 12 months now I can say with confidence that this technique has changed my life for the better and the best part about this is how easy the technique is to learn and implement. In these times more than ever I believe investing in our people and their mental health is of paramount importance and I hope it will do for them what it has done for me.”

https://www.beejameditation.com/

Jake Denney – Director

Wow – It has been just over 2 weeks since Jake Denney started in his position as Director at Havio and it’s fair to say things have got off to a flying start.

Jake’s primary initiative is to further develop our CDM Consultant services, deepening both our knowledge and service delivery requirements. Jake will be ensuring that our team of consultants and support staff have the right skills, knowledge and experience to ensure we always exceed our Clients expectations, by providing the best level of service to our customers every time.

There is a saying within the company that our two most important stakeholders are our staff and our customers, and we are proud that we continue to be successfully delivering this promise.

Havio has a clear vision in terms of our direction of travel, this involves being known as the industry experts within our fields and being clearly differentiated based on the quality of our service, the competence of our team and the innovation of our products. The sectors in which we operate are:

  • CDM Compliance
  • Contractor H&S Compliance
  • The Built Environment
  • Waste & Renewables
  • Fire Safety Services

We are passionate about keeping our clients and their people safe whilst offering sensible, objective, practical advice, and support at all times. Oh, and did we say we like having fun whilst doing so, even Health and Safety Professionals can have fun 😊 Changing people’s perceptions of our industry is what drives us.

But don’t just take our word for it, why not contact us for a chat to see how we can help you.

 

World Meditation Day

Today (21st May 2020) 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